Thursday, February 21, 2019

Arctic Blast Leads to New Winter Peak for ERCOT

The new year’s frigid temperatures resulted in a new winter peak demand for ERCOT Wednesday morning.

The ISO recorded a preliminary peak of 62.86 GW between 7 and 8 a.m., when freezing temperatures covered much of the state, exceeding Tuesday’s evening peak of 61.95 GW. Both broke the previous winter mark of 59.65 GW, set almost a year ago on Jan. 6, 2017.

ERCOT winter peak demand

South Texas snow | Goliad Farms

ERCOT had more than 70 GW of capacity available during the morning hours. The ISO in November projected a winter peak of just over 61 GW and said it would have as much as 81 GW of total resource capacity on hand to meet demand.

ERCOT winter peak demand

South Texas snowstorm | National Weather Service

Wholesale prices peaked at $70.02/MWh during the interval ending at 9:30 a.m. but were as low as $32.40 in the early morning hours. Tuesday’s prices peaked at $72.26 during the interval ending at 6 p.m.

ERCOT has not taken any extreme measures in meeting the winter demand.

Frigid conditions on the East Coast also brought PJM a peak load of 136.13 GW, the RTO’s highest winter demand since 2015. After a slight warming trend PJM, expects the extreme cold to return again later this week and has issued cold weather alerts for Friday and Saturday.

— Tom Kleckner