By Tom Kleckner
ERCOT’s latest resource adequacy assessments indicate it has 25,000 to 30,000 MW of spare generating capacity for the fall and winter.
The Texas grid operator’s final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) for October and November includes more than 82,000 MW of capacity, more than enough to meet a projected peak demand of about 54,400 MW.
The preliminary winter SARA report is similarly rosy, with more than 81,000 MW of capacity available to meet a forecasted record peak demand just under 59,000 MW. The winter demand record of 57,265 MW was set during February 2011’s record cold.
ERCOT, which operates 90% of the Texas grid, said four gas-fired combustion turbine units and three wind projects have begun operating since its preliminary fall SARA, adding nearly 900 MW of capacity. Three of the gas units are switchable resources and can connect to either ERCOT’s or SPP’s grids. The fall forecast assumes 13,700 to 19,000 MW of planned and unplanned outages.
Another 1,200 MW of new winter-rated capacity is expected to be in service for the winter season (December-February). The final winter SARA report will be released in November.
— Tom Kleckner