ERCOT once again asked Texans to voluntarily reduce electricity use on Friday, warning tight grid conditions could lead to an energy emergency.
The notice was in effect for Friday, Aug. 25 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Texas Advisory and Notification System gave an update after 9 on Friday night stating:
“The Conservation Appeal has ended. Grid conditions are expected to be normal. Thank you to Texas residents & businesses for your conservation efforts, which along with additional reliability tools, helped us to get through another a tight peak time.”
Yesterday, ERCOT avoided emergency operations due to the conservation efforts by Texas residents and businesses, combined with timely rainfall in the Houston area, improved wind conditions, and additional grid reliability tools.Public Utility Commission of Texas
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT) the agency that manages the state’s power grid, forecasted the demand to be nearly 86,000 MW on Friday afternoon and evening. The demand forecast dashboard showed a narrowing gap between demand and expected available capacity getting dangerously close after 7 p.m. as solar generation tends to drop off.
“Similar to yesterday, today’s conservation appeal does not indicate ERCOT is experiencing emergency conditions at this time,” ERCOT said in a statement. “Current forecasts are showing a potential to enter emergency operations this evening because of expected low wind-power generation and high demand.”
ERCOT is also once again requesting all government agencies (including city and county offices) to implement all programs to reduce energy use at their facilities.
“ERCOT expects these conditions to persist through the weekend because of extreme heat and asks Texans to stay tuned for additional communications this weekend,” the Public Utility Commission of Texas said in a statement. “Yesterday, ERCOT avoided emergency operations due to the conservation efforts by Texas residents and businesses, combined with timely rainfall in the Houston area, improved wind conditions, and additional grid reliability tools.”
On Monday, ERCOT issued a Weather Watch for Wednesday through Sunday, Aug. 24-27, warning higher temperatures would lead to higher electrical demand and the potential for lower power reserves. When the gap between available supply and demand gets closer together, ERCOT will ask Texans to reduce electricity use to prevent overloading the grid.
Four times this month and 12 times this summer, Texans have reset the all-time record for power consumption. The most recent record of 85,435 MW was set on Aug. 10, shattering the record set the day before of 83,961 MW. The forecasted high for Thursday afternoon was more than 86,700 MW.
Some experts have been critical of requests for voluntary action that span across much of the afternoon and evening.
“I just feel like it’s better to be more precise and give Texans very actionable requests that they can hopefully follow through on. It’s very hard to conserve when air conditioning is the biggest load by far, not much you can do for six or seven hours, but there’s quite a bit folks could do for an hour or two,” said author of the Texas Energy and Power Newsletter Doug Lewin.
Lewin said one tool the PUCT and ERCOT have yet to use is energy optimization, incentivizing consumers to reduce their use.
“Instead of asking people to reduce, the grid operator could give a signal to the load serving entity, that’s a retail electric provider, like a TXU or Denton Municipal. And there’s a button they press, and things happen after that button is pressed, and people are paid for that and it’s automatic,” he said.
As for Friday being a repeat of Thursday, Dr. Daniel Cohan an associate professor of environmental engineering at Rice University told NBC 5 on Thursday that it depends on conservation, which gives ERCOT an extra buffer. It’s also important that the power plants hold up under these conditions.
Source : NBC DFW