The heat is definitely on in Texas this week. Yesterday set a new Coincident Peak (CP) for the month of August at 72,200 MW. It is highly likely that we will break that record this afternoon, as load has already surpassed 72,900 MW. ERCOT is forecasting today’s peak demand to be 74,900 MW as shown in Figure 1. This would be a new all-time high for ERCOT. Even though today will likely set the CP for August, Thursday and Friday’s temperature forecast has risen 2 degrees since the beginning of the week. On both days, temperatures are expected to exceed 100 degrees and a new CP could be set on either day.
Figure 1: ERCOT Load Forecast vs. Actual, from ercot.com
Also, yesterday’s Day-Ahead Market for today cleared only enough electricity supply to provide power based on yesterday’s forecast for today. Today’s forecast (blue line in Figure 1) is coming in well above yesterday’s forecast (red line in Figure 1). This means that electricity supplies will be stretched thin this afternoon unless: a) Real-Time Index (“spot”) prices rise to a level high enough to incentivize more power plants to enter the Real-Time Market, and/or b) there is enough wind generation to meet the additional demand on the grid.
So far this week, wind output has been robust. Will that pattern hold? Forecast wind power production for this afternoon is shown in Figure 2. In the past, 7,000 MWs of wind (the amount forecast for today during the super-peak hours) has been enough to keep spot prices from reaching their caps and has kept up with the demand on the grid. But we are also entering uncharted territory because demand is so high.
Figure 2: Wind Power Production Forecast, from ercot.com
Will there be enough rain in the forecast to cool things down? Fuhgeddaboudit…rainstorms have no chance in this inferno as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Radar Update Weather Forecast, from weather.gov
Reach out to your energy advisor or contact us for more details.