Part of Grid Network »

The Grid Professionals Group covers electric current from its transmission step down to each customer's home. 

632 Members

WARNING: SIGN-IN

You need to be a member of Energy Central to access some features and content. Please or register to continue.

Post

Texas Triumphs

ID 597130 © David Kelly | Dreamstime.com

“Another blazing hot summer is another vindication of Texas’ cutting-edge electricity system,” wrote Chris Thomlinson, a business columnist for the Houston Chronicle, in a recent opinion piece. 

Thomlinson, and a host of other energy industry commentators, have been aggressive in their praise for Texas’ grid system, and maybe they’re right. Moving into the summer, articles littered the net about the Lonestar State’s inadequate grid. The tone of the articles, even if it wasn’t always explicitly stated, seemed to accuse ERCOT, the grid operator, of incompetence. By only paying generators for what is consumed, and not for back-up generation, and for an over reliance on wind, ERCOT had doomed Texans to a season of blackouts. 

Of course, that isn’t exactly what ended up happening. There were no rolling blackouts in the summer of 2019, just as there hadn’t been in the summer of 2018 that too had been heralded as a grid wrecker. Yes, there were some close calls. August was hot as heck and pushed the grid close to its limit, forcing ERCOT to issue Energy Emergency Alerts on two separate occasions. At one point, the energy reserve margin dipped to just 8.6 percent, far below the desired 13 percent mark. But we survived. 

Now, ERCOT and the Texas grid system may be out of the woods. The hottest months are behind us, and by the time the roll around again, we’ll be prepared. That’s right, ERCOT will add at 4,000 megawatts of solar capacity by next summer, which are almost to be most effective on scorching days when the sun is out. What’s more, private utilities in Texas have proposed another 3,000 megawatts by 2021 in total. Such developments are predicted to raise ERCOT’s reserve margin to 15.1% in 2021. 

Man I love it when the free market works.

Henry Craver's picture

Thank Henry for the Post!

Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.

Discussions

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 9, 2019 9:42 pm GMT

Now, ERCOT and the Texas grid system may be out of the woods. The hottest months are behind us, and by the time the roll around again, we’ll be prepared. That’s right, ERCOT will add at 4,000 megawatts of solar capacity by next summer, which are almost to be most effective on scorching days when the sun is out. What’s more, private utilities in Texas have proposed another 3,000 megawatts by 2021 in total. Such developments are predicted to raise ERCOT’s reserve margin to 15.1% in 2021. 

Great to see that, in a near worst-case scenario, the grid persevered and that the worst case scenario in future years will be a better starting point

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »