…ERCOT Flirts With Disaster…
High temperatures have forced ERCOT to ask people to conserve on their use of electricity. Here’s the news release:
Sep 6, 2023
ERCOT Has Initiated Energy Emergency Alert Level 2 (EEA 2), Conservation is Critical.
A predilection to using wind for generating electricity is behind this warning.
The current situation was predicted in 2018 when this forecast was published.
New Build was primarily wind, while Existing Gen referred to dispatchable, baseload power generation, i.e., nuclear, coal and natural gas. (CDR refers to Capacity, Demand and Reserves.)
This Reserve Margin graph predicts that, by 2021, the reserve margin would be entirely based on the availability of wind. As the CDR line shows, wind is unreliable and can evaporate when the wind doesn’t blow, which is when the reserve margin disappears and blackouts happen.
In June of this year, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that ERCOT had Sovereign Immunity and couldn’t be sued for the losses that occurred in the February 2021 debacle.
In addition to the 200 lives lost, financial loses from the storm were estimated to have been as large as $130 billion.
The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) has warned that two-thirds of North America, including ERCOT, is at risk of energy shortfalls this summer during periods of extreme demand.
Maintaining an adequate and reliable reserve margin is essential for keeping blackouts to an absolute minimum.
A new NGCC power plant is being built to increase baseload power, but ERCOT seems intent on relying on wind.
The issue now is whether Texas will have blackouts. It’s when, not if.
. . .