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On-Going Coincident Peak Alert for ERCOT, for August 12-14, 2020

August 12, 2020


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.

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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.

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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.

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Figure 3: Radar Update Weather Forecast, from weather.gov

Reach out to your energy advisor or contact us for more details. 

Topics: Markets ERCOT

Written by 5

Founded in 2011, 5 comprises a team of energy innovators, commodity traders, analysts, engineers, and former energy supplier executives. Together, they serve a broad array of private and public sector clients throughout the United States and Mexico, providing strategic advice on energy-related matters including procurement, demand-side management, rate optimization, regulatory intervention, benchmarking, bill auditing, RFP management, sustainability planning services, renewable power, and distributed generation. With an eye on growth, 5 has initiated a number of strategic partnerships and acquisitions, including the 2019 acquisition of Luthin Associates. 5 has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in the U.S. for five consecutive years. The firm has also received numerous accolades and national awards for its corporate culture, leadership and innovation, including 5 consecutive years as a top 10 Best Company to Work for in Texas according to Texas Monthly Magazine.