New generation resources drive up projected ERCOT reserve margins through 2025
AUSTIN, TX, Dec. 1, 2015 — The updated 10-year Capacity, Demand and Reserves (CDR) report released today by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) shows a continuing rise in planning reserve margins in coming years, due primarily to the anticipated addition of more than 5,000 megawatts (MW) of new generation capacity by the summer of 2017 and another 4,300 MW the following year.
“We are seeing significant growth in planned resources to help meet growing electricity needs in the coming years,” said Director of System Planning Warren Lasher. “While we currently are seeing planning reserve margins top 20 percent in the next several years, some of this growth could be offset by unit retirements as changing environmental rules begin to take effect.”
The anticipated peak demand for electricity — forecast at more than 70,500 MW in summer 2016 and growing to nearly 78,000 MW by summer 2025 — also has increased from previous reports. The revised long-term load forecast continues to be based on a new forecasting methodology that was implemented in 2014. The update for this CDR is based on average weather over the past 13 years and includes additional electricity demand from the Freeport liquefied natural gas facility, which is under development on the Gulf Coast and is scheduled to be fully operational in summer 2019.
“Our updated load forecasting methodology has performed well,” ERCOT Load Forecasting and Analysis Manager Calvin Opheim said. “By incorporating growth trends in customer accounts, or premises, to project future growth in electric demand for each region served by the ERCOT grid, we have been able to provide a more accurate look at future demand and energy use.”