New Report Says That Texas May Struggle To Meet Peak Electric Demand By 2013

Categories: Science

AReddyKilowattChristmas.jpg
Via.
Get ready for more rolling blackouts, because according to a grid reliability report, Texas won't have the juice to meet peak demands by 2013.

The study, authored by grid reliability enforcer North American Electric Reliability Corporation, says Texas operators may either bring old plants offline as they retrofit them to meet new pollution standards or shutter them entirely. They predict this will render ERCOT unable to meet peak demand. The report is troubling because, in terms of interconnectedness with other grids in the region, the Lone Star State decided to go it alone. We are an island, with no one to call for help.

"Additional retired generation will compound ERCOT's projected capacity deficit, worsening reliability issues in the region," the report says.

Translated: Because of our dependence on old gas-powered plants and particularly filthy coal plants, get ready for the outages we saw this summer, writ large. Compounding anemic supply is the ongoing drought and a strained water supply -- needed for cooling at coal-fired plants.

We've added more wind capacity, but the report downplays its ability to bridge the gap during peak summer months. When reached for comment, an ERCOT spokesperson declined, saying they hadn't had sufficient time to review the report. This Thursday, ERCOT will be releasing its 2011-'12 winter assessment report, along with its 10-year report on capacity and demand outlook.


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19 comments
Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

The end user purchasing of electric power  may be deregulated .

The actual manufacturing of power and distribution is more regulated than it has ever been thanks to ERCOTThe Ghosts of ENRON  Ken Lay are alive and well buzzing in the lines above our heads and under our feet.

JRinDallas
JRinDallas

Awful, awful post here.  Hargrove managed to pick one of the only sentences in the entire NERC report without a qualifier like "may" or "depending" or "highly uncertain" or "uncertainties."  Check out the dumb Figure 3 on page 6.  Scary clouds and question marks ahead!

For utilities, grid operators, and pro-coal politicians...the Magic 8-Ball of Energy Woes always comes up "Blame EPA."  Dirty utilities and their enablers have forecasted economic apocalypse, shivering winters, and sweaty summers for 40 years of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.

No need to wait for ERCOT's comment here.  They likely just checked their 8-Ball, spent the rest of the day playing office Nerf basketball, and printed off the EPA is the mother of all evils form PR statement.  PUCT, ERCOT and some Texas utilities will just never admit that we can stop poisoning people and our environment without spontaneously combusting or shivering in the dark.

http://www.grist.org/coal/2011...

CollinBabs
CollinBabs

As with our water crisis, failure to plan has gotten us to this point.  We have growth, we have more people, we have more consumption.  But we didn't plan for sustainability. Instead our "leaders"  and politicos were busy stepping on their d#%ks as a result of lack of vision.

james
james

and funny talkin' furriners dumb as rocks,  that cain't speak clear english answering their dam phones.  

james
james

higher rates richer companies worse service every year.

james
james

what we have here are electric companies running wild. they bully their customers. they cut peoples service DAYS after they've paid their bill for nonpayment, using the claim that 'it hasn't posted yet'.  they don't even have a number on the bill anymore to call for downed wires. if you call them about downed wires in the city of dallas, you will get to see a fire truck blocking the street for 3-4 hours while they 'scamble' a crew from midlothian to come fix it. txu shows record profits. the power gets less dependable. they move the due dates and cutoff dates up a few days every month so no one knows from habit what day their bill is due. remember-that was one of the things the evil credit card companies were forced to stop  doing  by law, to stop tricking folks into bein' late on their payments. so why do we tolerate this crap from all utilities-gas, water and electric. since the credit cards quit doing this i've never been late again. it's a scam to chump us for late fees and reconnect fees.  sorta like the rich git richer and fuck the lousy worthless customers.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

The mantra has always been that we are on our own power grid and those high rates that we have endured since the beginning of deregulation makes Texas power more reliable.   What a bunch of lies that the power companies and the politicians have been feeding us.   I seem to recall when TXU was taken private (note from TXU’s web page: TXU to set new direction as a private company with execution of a definitive merger agreement with an investor group led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., TPG and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners) there was questions then about the massive amount of debt that TXU was to be burdened with.

Seems to me like deregulation has been a failure.   Wonder who has profited by this shenanigans (as if we did not know)

Pennywhistle
Pennywhistle

People underestimate the incredible reliability that Texas has.  Depression and post WW II Texans saw electrification and especially rural electrification as a great miracle.  Recently people have been fortunate to have low electricity rates thanks to low gas prices. 

People that oppose natural gas production should realize that they are asking for higher electrical prices for themselves and others. 

Juiceless Joe
Juiceless Joe

Newsdog, Freddy is the low-powered brother of "Reddy Kilowatt," actual light company symbol. 

NewsDog
NewsDog

It's been a long time since I've seen good ole Freddy Kilowatt.

Ellum08
Ellum08

What a clever way for Perry and his fellow Republican'ts to get Texas out of complying with federal regulations.

Have all the lights go out enough times and the public protest will so great that the EPA will have to give Texas yet enough pass.

Perhaps if every office building and shopping center weren't kept at sub-zero temperatures, even in the winter time, energy consumption wouldn't be such an issue.

Amazing.  

Montemalone
Montemalone

In other words, yo bill's gonna go up faster than the thermometer in August.

Juiceless Joe
Juiceless Joe

How clever is this report? Haven't we already had 2 years of rolling blackouts and brownouts in Texas? Wasn't there a big alert during the summer? So, like, what's new?

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Better yet, why havent these buildings/shopping centers been forced into using alternative sources of energy on site (ex: solar) and retrofitted with power-saving lights and HVAC?. I've seen this done in other states in the SW and other parts of Texas, especially down in Houston and Austin

scottindallas
scottindallas

Deregulation is new, since we passed it, we've seen blackouts.  Before deregulation we were projected to have ample supply and even were expected to see rate decreases.  Deregulation fixed all of that.  Why, why has NO politician proposed rolling back the law?

backslider
backslider

Houston enforces alternative energy building codes? Nope. Sure they are ahead of Dallas with their Solar Houston Initiative but they are not forcing shopping centers to implement solar. Perry engineering this NERC report? Nope. NERC is regulated by FERC, and I guess that makes me a JERC.

scottindallas
scottindallas

I don't know that that policy makes sense across the US, but certainly in the Southern States there is no excuse.  Our peak demand is in the hottest, sunniest hours/days in Dallas, that is an easy solution that would probably damn near pay for itself.

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