So much for educated guesses.
Earlier this month Texas’ grid operator, ERCOT, said it expected this summer’s peak electricity usage to be 63,898 megawatts, nearly 2,000 MW less than last summer’s record-breaking peak of 65,776 MW set on Aug. 23.
These seasonal peak estimates are based in large part on economic forecasts, so it might appear that ERCOT was saying the outlook for Texas’ economy wouldn’t be quite as robust this summer as last.
This month’s record-breaking heat seems to be foiling that peak power use prediction, however.
ERCOT’s daily forecast for peak usage today (Wednesday, June 15, 2011) has steadily risen from 62,665 MW this morning to 64,035 MW — nearly 140 MW more than what we’re supposed to expect as our summer peak.
ERCOT updated their prediction again this afternoon and it *now* (3:22 p.m.) appears the prediction is for 63,101 MW, below the predicted peak.
We won’t really know today’s true peak until about 5 p.m. — typically the peak time of usage — but it’s looking like the annual summer peak prediction will have been a bust.
As of 5:30 p.m. ERCOT’s forecast peak dropped to 62,563 MW, still below the predicted peak. The grid operator reported usage at 5:30 at 62,708 MW.
This doesn’t mean we’re in any danger of power issues, like rolling blackouts. It just means the educated guesses of our state’s power watchers will need further review.