ERCOT Expects To Have Enough Power For Summer … Maybe …
We were all so relieved when the extreme cold snap ended last February and the lights came on for everyone. Now we just have to make it through the summer heat.
ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, released their preliminary Seasonal Assessment report yesterday and followed that with their final report today.
In their final report ERCOT says they expect to have enough power to meet the demand, even though they expect the demand to be greater than ever before.
According to KWTX the expected demand on the grid in Texas will reach a peak of 77,144 MW in the heat of the summer. The previous record was 74,820 MW in August of 2019.
That was in their final report released today. In their preliminary report released yesterday they gave mixed signals. While stating that they expected no major problems they did list three potential situations that could have us sweating it out.
Some forecasters are predicting another exceptionally hot summer like the one we had back in 2011 when we shattered a bunch of records. If that happens the story could be different.
KHOU reports that in their first scenario ERCOT's power generation could fall about 3,615 MW short for some unstated reason, that would leave about 720,000 homes in the dark. And without air conditioning.
In their second scenario the amount of solar generated power is also lower than expected and ERCOT finds itself 7,500 MW short at peak demand. That would leave about one and a half million Texan homes without power.
The worst case scenario is truly frightening. The demand exceeds what ERCOT can generate, the solar contributions are lower than expected, and one or more power plants need to go offline for some reason. In that case ERCOT could find itself about 14,000 MW short and nearly three million homes would be without power. Keep in mind this is an absolutely worst case scenario and the likelihood of it happening is low. Then again, the last year or so tells us to expect just about anything.
Let's hope the extremely hot weather forecasts are wrong and ERCOT's confidence in their ability to keep the lights on is well placed.
In the meantime, whether you call it being a Boy Scout or being a Prepper, now is the time to get prepared for summer.