ERCOT Says There Should Be Just Enough Juice To Keep Lights On This Summer, As Long As It Isn't Hot, Hot, Hotter Than Hell

downpowerlines.JPG
Texas is in a tight spot. Electric supply simply isn't keeping up with consumer demand in a state bursting at the seams. By 2013, grid operator ERCOT predicts we won't have enough to cover peak demand, when we're all sweating and dashing for our thermostats.

Summer 2012, on the other hand, will be touch and go, but we just might eke by. "Based on the National Weather Service's three-month outlook, we are expecting above-normal temperatures this summer - though not as extreme as last summer's," ERCOT veep of system planning and grid operations Kent Saathoff said in a statement this afternoon. "If that's the case, we expect to be able to meet the peak demand on the grid, unless we have above-normal generation outages."

And that's one big "if," considering the extremes we've seen lately. Grid managers are forecasting peak electric demand below last summer's all-time record, but still high enough that if enough power plants are offline, we'll be looking at rotating outages.

ERCOT's board recently approved emergency measures that would allow the grid operator to bring idled generating units back online. It's also anticipating a report due June 1 that will take a look at the dearth of electric generation we're facing and how to solve it. Bets on whether it recommends increasing or removing the price cap on electricity?


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
16 comments
CheeryBitch
CheeryBitch

So, yes, let's add to Dallas's nightly illumination. Brown out be damned! That fancy bridge needs spotlights, and Omni Dallas needs to keep that digital billboard rolling!

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Lets not forget the private equity boys and their purchase of TXU and their resulting bonuses.

gabbahey
gabbahey

nice nod to Kiss... (I see what you did there)

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

So how soon until they recommend we eschew air conditioning completely and buy giant blocks of ice (trucked in from a facility powered by someone else's grid) and hand cranked fans?

james
james

with the huge electric bills we pay...kazillions of dollars...the greedy bastards have no excuse for not providing the sevices we pay too much for. they need to throw the company ceo in jail and give the next asshole a chance to do  the job whithout stealing too much.

Sa
Sa

Well, let's hope it's not another record-breaking summer. 

Mark C. Brown
Mark C. Brown

Wow - this is a big story and you completely botched it.  The lack of power generation in Texas is *precisely* because several of our coal burning power plants are being shut down because of new environmental rules from Obama's EPA.  We'd have plenty of power if it weren't for the Obama administration's new EPA rules. 

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

 ERCOT's board recently approved emergency measures that would allow the grid operator to bring idled generating units back online. It's also anticipating a report due June 1 that will take a look at the dearth of electric generation we're facing and how to solve it. Bets on whether it recommends increasing or removing the price cap on electricity?

So what part of electricity has been  deregulated ?

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

but National Weather Service outlook did not factor in this summer's KISS tour!

Harvey
Harvey

They need to deregulate heat....and water.  

John2247
John2247

And the 80 million plus debt they brought to Texas.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

I heard that the price of coal is too much.

Brantley Hargrove
Brantley Hargrove

 In next week's cover story, we address the lack of generation and the EPA's alleged role in causing it.

John2247
John2247

You've obviously made up you mind, but I'll respond anyway.

Of the major power plant operators in Texas, only Luminant has been a petulant child about the rules. Its parent company — Energy Future Holdings, formerly TXU — has been financially strained ever since a $45 billion private equity leveraged buy-out in 2007. Did Obama do that leveraged buyout in 2007?  Luminant is broke and blaming everybody but themselves.

Other operators of coal-fired power plant say the rules are manageable: NRG Energy, the second-largest power generator in Texas, said it will comply by increasing the efficiency of its scrubbers by 10 to 15 percent and using more low sulfur coal. NRG’s Parish power plant in Fort Bend County uses a low-sulfur coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, while its Limestone plant uses a lignite/Powder River mix. The plants also have installed a full range of new pollution controls.

The Lower Colorado River Authority also said it is in good shape to meet the requirements at its 1,600-megawatt coal fired Fayette Power Project, 90 miles west of Houston. This year, LCRA installed new scrubbers in its two oldest units that remove about 95 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions.The EPA has said Texas was added to the sulfur dioxide list because data shows that the state’s coal plants contribute to soot problems as far away as Illinois.

Luminant is trying to blame the EPA for its own unwillingness or inability to invest in new pollution controls. The company has lowered emissions of sulfur dioxide by 16 percent over the last decade, while the industry as a whole has cut them in half.

http://fuelfix.com

Rod
Rod

All this at a cost of ????  And you call this deregulation. Ha!

John2247
John2247

@88bae401cf24da78cb0f628123b446d9:disqus "All this at a cost of ????  And you call this deregulation. Ha!"

I did not say anything about deregulation.  Ha!  

But since you mention deregulation, Texas did that in 1999 with the guidance of Ken Lay and other middle-men/speculators who produce nothing -- they scrape a profit from utilities by creating false shortages and blame it on the big bad EPA.

Texas has coal, wind, nuclear and natural gas for electricity generation. We lead the country in natural gas production.  Yet our electric rates are among the highest in the country. So much for "deregulation".

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...