TEXAS — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is anticipating record-breaking electric demand this summer due to expected hot and dry weather, and population growth throughout the state.

ERCOT says it is assessing the possibility of high-impact situations like the winter storm in Texas last February. The utility tells us the chances of a disaster like that happening this summer are low.

ERCOT also announced plans to have officials visit select power plants across Texas to review summer weatherization plans. ERCOT says visits like this are normal for winter preps, but this is the first time officials will visit power plants for summer.

The grid operator on Thursday released its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) for the summer season (June – September), its preliminary assessment for the fall season (October – November) and the May Capacity Demand, and Reserves (CDR) Report.  

“The new scenarios reflect ERCOT’s commitment to improve transparency and visibility into the market and the factors that affect reliability, even when there is a very remote possibility of these events happening,” said ERCOT’s Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson.

“While the risk for emergency conditions remains low this summer based on many of the scenarios studied, a combination of factors in real time, including record demand, high thermal generation outages and low wind/solar output could result in tight grid conditions,” said Rickerson. “We cannot control the weather or forced generation outages, but we are prepared to deploy the tools that are available to us to maintain a reliable electric system. We hope this report helps market participants prepare to assist the grid if needed.”

ERCOT is also watching drought conditions. Officials say based on the information they’ve gathered, the drought does not pose a major risk right now.

Graphic provided by ERCOT