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Industry News

ERCOT Releases Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy for Summer 2014

LCG, May 2, 2014-The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) yesterday released its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) for summer 2014. ERCOT also released a preliminary outlook for fall and an update to its Capacity, Demand and Reserves (CDR) report, which is a 10-year outlook of expected power generation and forecast system peak demand.

With respect to this summer, ERCOT's Director of System Planning stated, "The outlook improves significantly by August, when we typically experience the highest system peaks of the year. We may need to ask consumers to reduce electric use if we experience extremely hot weather or widespread unit outages during the early summer months."

ERCOT forecasts about 68,000 MW of peak electric demand this summer, with almost 74,000 MW of installed generation capacity available. ERCOT expects six new generating facilities, with a combined capacity of 2,153 MW, to commence operations by August. Four of the new facilities - Ferguson Replacement, Panda Sherman, Panda Temple I and Deer Park Energy Center - will provide approximately 2,112 MW of the new capacity.

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

The other two key additions are being built by Panda Power Funds, 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.

This SARA assumes summer weather will reflect average weather conditions experienced during the past 12 years, with generally mild conditions and some very hot days. "We expect this summer, for most of the ERCOT region, to be milder than the past four years, with some areas experiencing temperatures that are hotter than normal," stated ERCOT's meteorologist.

ERCOT expects that, under those conditions and assuming generation outages remain within a typical range during peak demand, operating reserves will stay within preferred ranges. If the system experiences extreme peaks or widespread unit outages, especially early in the summer, ERCOT expects it will need to ask consumers to reduce electric use during peak demand periods, with the potential for further steps to manage the grid.
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