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ERCOT Report Shows Rolling Blackouts Not A Threat Anytime Soon

Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel

A report released by the Energy Reliability Council of Texas shows the state is not in any danger of rolling blackouts anytime in the near future.  

ERCOT released three assessment reports looking at whether the state has enough energy reserves to meet the peak demand during the summer and fall of 2014 and then a long-term review of peak customer demand.

Warren Lasher, ERCOT’s director of system planning, said a set of new projects will help Texas meet its energy demand.

"We have several new gas-fired generation plants that will become commercially available  late in this summer," Lasher said. "With these plants operating we do not expect to periods of limited operating reserves even in the event of extreme weather similar to what we saw in 2011."

ERCOT had been predicting higher reserves needed to meet the potential for demand problems until independent studies by the Braddle group showed their numbers were off.  Lasher said the May report shows the state is well-suited for at least the next two years.

"We expect to have reserve margins above 14 percent through 2016," Lasher said. "One thing I’d like to highlight is that we are still counting wind resources of 8.7 percent of their name plate capacity.”

Lasher said that change in forecast is due to a change in methodology and the three generators coming online in August.