ERCOT says power grid is prepared for summer but encourages change as Texas population increases

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the Public Utility Commission of Texas held a press conference Wednesday in Austin to update Texans on the status of the grid ahead of the upcoming summer.

ERCOT CEO Pablo Vegas and PUCT Chairman Peter Lake shared the findings of ERCOT’s Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) and Capacity, Demand and Reserves (CDR) reports that give a look into how prepared the grid is.

Officials said that as the Texas population continues to grow, the demand for power is increasing faster than the supply. The new reports shows risk scenarios that help ERCOT and the PUCT prepare for the seasons.

The demand for power in Texas set several records in 2022.

Models show that the peak for this summer could be 6,000 megawatts greater than it was last year.

“As a result of this dynamic, this summer could have tighter hours than last summer with a higher risk of emergency operations,” Vegas said.

Power problems could happen around 5 p.m. when the sun starts to go down, since we will rely on solar energy.

Vegas said ERCOT has made changes, and the state has new programs to help provide power to people. Officials said there is a low probability the state will see significant grid issues.

ERCOT will have 850 more megawatts of thermal capacity as well as 1,000 more megawatts through wind energy and 3,400 megawatts from solar energy to power the grid this summer.

Experts also noted that leaders have to respond since the demand for energy is outpacing the supply of power.

“The urgency to act is now,” Vegas said.

ERCOT’s reports discussed in the conference were posted on its website. Read them here.

About the Author:

Cynthia Miranda graduated from UT Austin and is a proud Houstonian. She is passionate about covering breaking news and community stories. Cynthia previously covered elections, the historic 2021 Texas winter storm, and other news in East Texas. In addition to writing, she also loves going to concerts, watching movies, and cooking with her family.