Texas electric grid sets June power record, urges conservation

No mention of buying / importing electricity from outside the state as an alternative to rolling blackouts.
=================================== http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/25/us-utilities-texas-heat-idUSBRE85O10G20120625
Texas grid sets June power record, urges conservation
HOUSTON | Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:09pm EDT
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Texas power use peaked on Monday afternoon at a higher level than in any previous June even as the state urged consumers to limit appliance use to avoid straining power plants, as much of the state broiled under triple-digit temperatures.
Power demand reached 65,047 megawatts in the hour between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. CDT (2200 GMT), surpassing the June record of 63,102 MW set last year, according to preliminary grid data.
Real-time power prices briefly exceeded $100 per megawatt-hour Monday afternoon and next-day power prices in the state traded between $165 and $175 per megawatt-hour, down several dollars from Monday's trades.
The extreme heat hit Sunday when the mercury hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in Houston, San Antonio and Dallas, the three biggest cities in the Lone Star State, prompting residents to crank up air conditioners. Triple-digit highs are forecast for several more days this week, with some high enough to set records, AccuWeather.com forecast.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the grid operator for most of Texas, said in a release it was looking closely at anticipated electric use and available generation.
ERCOT said demand may top 66,000 MW on Tuesday. The state's all-time peak use of 68,379 MW was set in August of last summer during a protracted heat wave and drought.
The grid agency said adequate generation resources should be available to serve that load without activating emergency programs that could lead to curtailment of power to certain industrial customers or broader rolling outages.
The grid operator said its plan for the week takes into account current power-plant outages and the possibility of losing additional resources.
One megawatt is enough to serve about 200 Texas homes during hot weather when air conditioners run for extended periods.
The grid agency has projected that power use will peak at 67,492 MW this summer, about 1,300 MW above what would be expected in a normal weather scenario.
ERCOT warned that rolling outages could occur this summer given the state's limited amount of surplus generation.
An extended heat wave and drought last summer forced ERCOT to declare emergencies on six days and curtail power to interruptible customers on two days in August to avoid widespread rolling outages.
The state's shrinking reserve margin has led regulators to implement a number of wholesale market changes to encourage construction of new power plants over the long-term.
Several idled power plants have been returned to service to bolster the summer supply after a new coal-fired plant expected to be operational was delayed.
NRG Energy (NRG.N), the state's second-largest power company, has more generation available this summer than last, after restarting a half dozen older, natural gas-fired units totaling 1,100 MW that were previously in mothball status.
"We have invested significant capital to get our units ready during spring outages," said Mauricio Gutierrez, NRG's chief operating officer.
Luminant, the state's largest generator, said its power plants have undergone preventative maintenance, inspections and testing to be available when called on this summer.
"We take our role of powering Texas very seriously and as such, we began preparing for the hot Texas summer months ago," said a Luminant spokeswoman.
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On 6/26/2012 7:47 AM, Home Guy wrote:

There are very limited-capacity inter-ties and all the surrounding areas are also under the same high pressure and seeing the same or even higher temperatures as are they so there's not much excess capacity to send that way even if had the interconnections. You're on your own... :)
...

...
And just wait and see what's going to happen if the SCOTUS lets the proposed new EPA limits go and Congress doesn't act to curtail the incessant racheting w/ the intent to completely eliminate coal as a viable generation source. :(
--
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as I recall, so many of the posters here are proud that not only does Texas have no real inter-ties but that do to the better business climate there, they are superior to those tree huggers in California that consume far less electricity than the entire state of Texas. LOL

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Home Guy wrote:

In simple words, Texas is not connected to the other two power grids.
In reality, it's a bit more involved. There is one area in north Texas that gets power from Oklahoma and one small bit in east Texas that gets power from Louisiana. In addition, there are some power-sharing agreements with Mexico.
In the main, however, one can say that the Texas power grid stands alone and not be too far off the mark.
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The ONLY place where the power grids stand COMPLETELY alone are Newfoundland and Quebec The first because they're too far from land to be connected The second because they produce far, far, more than they consume One of their Hydro Project, covers the area of New York State.
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On Tue, 26 Jun 2012 17:00:05 -0500, "Atila Iskander"

...and there are no people to use it.
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Atila Iskander wrote:

Well, there's Hawaii. And Alaska.
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