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Industry News

ERCOT Releases Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy

LCG, March 6, 2014--The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) yesterday released its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) for this spring and a preliminary outlook for this summer.

ERCOT anticipates that "tight conditions are likely" on the electric grid during the early summer months; however, the outlook improves by late summer, when over 2,100 MW of gas-fired, combined-cycle capacity is added to the grid.

ERCOT's director of System Planning stated, "While we anticipate sufficient generation for summer, conditions may become tight - potentially requiring conservation measures to protect the grid - if we see extremely high demand during the early summer, before these new units begin operating."

New gas-fired capacity is being installed at four plants: Ferguson, Panda Sherman, Panda Temple I and Deer Park Energy Center. Commercial operations are scheduled to commence by August 1, with Deer Park Energy Center scheduled to bring new capacity on-line in early July.

Panda Power Funds is building two of the new plants, and these will incorporate Siemens power island packages, including the natural gas turbines, steam turbine and waste heat recovery boilers in the 758-MW Siemens Flex-PlantTM 30 plants. Panda Power also plans to complete another combined cycle block, Temple II, and this addition is scheduled to begin operations next year.

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) is installing a combined-cycle plant at the Ferguson site to replace an older unit, which was built in 1974 and retired last year. Calpine is adding capacity at the existing Deer Park Energy Center.

ERCOT expects the peak demand for this summer to exceed 68,000 MW; ERCOT's all-time record peak of 68,305 MW occurred on August 3, 2011, during the hottest summer on record.

In early May ERCOT will release the final summer SARA, which will reflect a more thorough evaluation of the summer weather forecast and related actions that may be necessary to increase supplies, such as returning "mothballed" units to operational status for the peak season.
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