Power reserve decline slows
Summer shortages are possible, but thinning of margins not as stark in the newest forecast.
The threat of long-term power shortages on the state’s primary electricity grid continues for the summer’s peak demand, according to the latest projections, as reserve margins continue to decline — but at a slower pace than had been projected six months ago.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the operator of the grid that serves threefourths of the state, including Central Texas, updated its supply-and-demand forecast Monday.
“The projected reserve margin for summer 2013 has dropped slightly since May, but we are seeing healthier reserve margins in future years,” said ERCOT CEO Trip Doggett. “Although peak demand is expected to grow less quickly than previous economic predictions indicated, we should continue to encourage new generation and develop more demand response options to reduce our electric use during periods of highest use — the hottest hours of the hottest days of summer.”
Monday’s forecast projects that ERCOT will have 74,633 megawatts of power to serve anticipated peak electric use, or “load,” of 65,952 megawatts next summer. A megawatt is enough power to serve about 200 Texas homes during the highest-demand period, which typically occurs between 3 and 7 p.m. during the hottest days of summer.
The updated forecast will be interpreted by various factions