Earlier this month, ERCOT released a report which showed that power reserves—the extra capacity used to avert rotating outages—will likely fall below the minimum target beginning next summer.
ERCOT said it should have enough generating capacity this winter to meet demand during normal and colder temperatures, even if some units go offline. But the state may need to trigger rolling blackouts this winter if extreme cold occurs and more units go offline than is normal, a risk that is “very low,” ERCOT President Trip Doggett said.
ERCOT also predicted an uptick in power demand for summer 2012 and a drop in expected generation capacity from its June forecast. ERCOT said the revision decreases the state’s projected power-reserves cushion by 5 percent in 2012, putting it below where it should be for ensuring reliability when extreme heat occurs and some generators go offline.
“We are very concerned about the significant drop in the reserve margin,” said CEO Trip Doggett. “If we stay in the current cycle of hot and dry summers, we will be very tight on capacity next summer and have a repeat of this year’s emergency procedures and conservation appeals.”
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