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What ERCOT’s Seasonal Demand Predictions Mean for Demand Response in Texas this Summer

By Peter Dotson-Westphalen | July 07, 2016

ERCOT is ready to meet summer demand.
On May 3, 2016, ERCOT released seasonal and 10-year outlooks that anticipate adequate generation capacity for upcoming electricity demands in Texas. According to the ERCOT’s Director of System Planning, Warren Lasher, the ISO expects to have ample generation to serve its customer’s needs this summer. “However,” according to Mr. Lasher, “hotter-than-normal weather combined with low-wind conditions or high generation outage rates could cause operating reserves to drop below target levels, making it necessary to take additional actions to maintain grid reliability.”

ERCOT is not expected to see any significant pricing fluctuations this summer.
Response Reserve Service (RRS) pricing, determined by the Day-Ahead Market, has the potential for price spikes. However, such spikes seem unlikely given the low natural gas prices and high wind generation capacity working to suppress current clearing prices set by power generators.

An event like the one mentioned in the ERCOT’s press release could lead to a price spike in the Day-Ahead or Real-Time Markets. Such an event could also trigger emergency operational procedures, potentially resulting in the dispatch of Load Resources or Emergency Reserve Service.  However, unless we realize more formidable weather conditions, we can expect prices to remain where they are this summer.

Localized dispatch of Load Resources (LR) is a possibility in certain ERCOT regions.
Last fall ERCOT called a LR event in the Rio Grande Valley due to congestion in the region. While there is no cause to anticipate a similar event being called this summer, the region could be one that experiences the kind of “hotter than normal” weather the ISO has warned of and should be on alert for dispatch.

ERCOT has made a change to how they procure Ancillary Services that will affect the summer season.
ERCOT has made a change to how they procure the RRS Ancillary Service. They have removed the Reserve Discount Factor, which served to reduce a generator’s available capacity during periods of likely higher temperatures across the grid, from the calculation. Instead, ERCOT will now procure an additional 200 MW of RRS during Hours Ending 15-18 during July and August of 2016 only.

To find out more about what you can do to prepare for the summer season in ERCOT, contact Peter or anyone on CPower’s ERCOT team.