With hot temperatures expected in the Lone Star State this summer, a report published by the entities responsible for managing the Texas power grid has raised concerns about maintaining a sufficient electricity supply to meet increased demand.
ERCOT released its Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report on May 3, showing that trouble could be ahead for Texas residents if (or rather when) extreme summer conditions strike.
The stability of the power grid is not in question, which infamously failed when a big snowstorm struck the state two years ago.
With outages causing over 200 deaths and billions in property damage, the fallout of this event continues to be the subject of several active lawsuits, as The Dallas Express reported.
Instead, this summer, there may be a shortage of dispatchable energy.
To address this challenge, both ERCOT and the PUC have called for more investment and incentives to build more dispatchable power generators so that the state can have a reliable supply to serve the growing demand for electricity.
Texas leads the nation in wind power and has a rapidly growing solar capacity, and the state balances its renewable energy mix with dispatchable power to ensure grid stability and resilience.
The question of how Texas will meet its energy requirements lies at the heart of a recent legislative package passed by Texas senators that aims to reform the state’s electric grid.
The measures are meant to shore up power reserve generation and make the grid more reliable.
The proposed measures include building new natural gas plants and keeping older ones online through an incentivizing scheme still being evaluated by lawmakers, according to The Texas Tribune.
But advocates of renewable energy generation, like Vice President of the Advanced Power Alliance Judd Messer, claim that renewables are essential — and that their reliability is primarily being questioned for political reasons.
“Pretty much everything has to go wrong for the lights to go out. And it’s a pretty small chance that that would happen. And if it does, I wouldn’t expect it to last very long,” Rhodes explained.