ERCOT Works To Ready for Summer

Power grid
Power grid/Getty images Brandon Bell / Staff

With summer just around the corner, all eyes are back on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, as temperatures are expected to increase and test the state’s electrical grid.

Officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the state’s grid, are touting the organization’s preparedness in light of additional power supply from renewable sources.

“Over 9,000 megawatts of new power supply resources have connected since last summer. And so, what that looks like [is] we’ve got over 5000 megawatts of solar, new solar that’s come on the grid. That’s going to be very helpful for the summer peaks,” said ERCOT CEO Pablo Vegas, speaking with KVUE. “We’ve got over 1,000 megawatts of new wind and about 3,000 megawatts of dispatchable, which includes both batteries and some gas resources as well.”

He went on to highlight changes over the last three years that have purportedly enhanced grid reliability and resiliency, pointing to new weatherization rules and inspection protocols.

On April 17, The Dallas Express reported that ERCOT warned electricity providers that planned shutdowns for routine repairs and maintenance should be postponed or canceled altogether. The order came ahead of above-average spring temperatures that risked overwhelming the power grid. Despite ultimately avoiding the shortfall, spot power prices surged over $4,000 a megawatt-hour as a result.

By mid-April, Dallas power prices projected for August hit $168.70 per megawatt-hour, the highest in five years and 82% higher than the same period in 2023. As it stands, traders expect another August of substantial demand on the grid.

Texas continues to grapple with power grid challenges. In 2021, over 10 million residents lost power during Winter Storm Uri. ERCOT was blamed for the outages during the storm, which resulted in the deaths of 246 people.

During the past two summers in Texas, power usage has reached all-time highs almost two dozen times. This summer, it is only expected to increase, says ERCOT.

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