Natural gas usage for power in ERCOT remains strong as coal falls
Natural gas’ share of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ generation mix continued to rise and coal usage continued its downward spiral in March, according to data released by the grid operator.
Consumers across the grid operator’s footprint used 25.4 million MWh of power in March, compared with 24.7 million MWh in March 2014 — a 2.7% increase year over year, ERCOT said in its monthly report released Friday. Usage grew roughly 1% from 25.1 million MWh in February.
Natural gas-fired usage continued to climb, rising to 53.50% of the electricity generated in ERCOT in March, up from 57.6% in February and steady with March 2014. Spot Houston Ship Channel natural gas prices averaged $2.705/MMBtu for March, up some from $2.696/MMBtu in February, but down from $4.850/MMBtu in March 2014.