Summer power outlook in Texas OK

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, aka ERCOT — the operator of the main electric grid in Texas, “expects adequate electricity resources to meet this summer’s peak use…”
The expected peak demand this summer is 63,491 megawatts (MW), 1,731 MW lower than the last forecast made in December 2008, a reflection of the current economic slowdown. That’s 2 percent higher than the 2008 actual peak demand of 62,174 MW, which was lower due to cooler than normal weather last summer. ERCOT’s all-time record use of electricity of 62,339 MW occurred in August 2006.
Available power resources for 2009 summer peak are 72,712 MW, leaving a 17 percent reserve margin. That’s up from 16 percent in 2008 forecast and well above the 12.5 percent minimum target, a mimimum that is currently expected to beat at least through 2014.

“We have lowered the peak demand forecast because of the current economic downturn,” said ERCOT CEO Bob Kahn. “However, our forecasts anticipate a recovery in the economy over the next five years as reflected in an increase in the average annual growth rate from 1 percent in the near term to as high as 3 percent around 2012 and 2013,” he said.

Additions to the grid this year include:

• A net increase of 1,140 MW in installed capacity;

• An increase of 20 MW of wind generation, calculated at 8.7 percent of installed capacity;

• The retention of 115 MW that was planned for retirement, under a temporary reliability-must-run agreement;

• A decrease of 967 MW from private networks.
The capacity by fuel type is 65 percent natural gas, 16 percent coal, 6 percent nuclear, 10 percent wind and 3 percent water/biomass/solar/other.

ercot_2009_summer Source: ERCOT