ERCOT TO HAVE TIGHTER POWER SUPPLY IN SUMMER 2016: REPORT
An Electric Reliability Council of Texas report released Tuesday shows the independent system operator expects the supply of electricity to be tighter in summer 2016 than it did in the May version of the report.
ERCOT’s Capacity, Demand and Reserves report, which is issued twice a year, forecast a planning reserve margin of 16.5% in the coming summer. When the same report was issued in May, it projected that summer 2016 would have a 17% planning reserve margin.
The latest CDR reflects increased expected summer peak demand, at 70,588 MW, versus 70,014 MW in the May CDR. ERCOT’s record peak demand, 69,783 MW, was set August 10.
The newest CDR’s load forecasts — which rise to 77,732 MW by summer 2025 — are based on average weather over the past 13 years plus additional demand from a LNG facility being developed in Freeport, Texas, and scheduled to come online in summer 2019.
The latest CDR also reflects less expected generation additions from resources other than wind or solar, at 1,068 MW in the latest CDR versus 1,780 MW in May CDR.
Also, the latest CDR shows less noncoastal wind power additions by summer 2016, at 205 MW, versus 493 MW expected load carrying capacity by new noncoastal wind resources in the May CDR. ERCOT assumes that noncoastal wind resources can only be depended upon at a 12% capacity factor during peak times.
Somewhat mitigating these changes that tightened the supply picture in the latest CDR was the expected addition of 102 MW of solar capacity in summer 2016, versus zero in the May CDR.
In contrast with this coming summer’s tighter supply picture, the latest CDR shows forecasts for larger reserve margins for each summer from 2017 through 2025, and all of the planning reserve margins for those forecast periods exceed ERCOT’S 13.75% target. The May CDR showed summer planning reserve margins dipping below the target from 2023 to 2025.