Forced outages, potential record power use lead to tight Texas grid conditions

June 14, 2021

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
June 14, 2021

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) on June 14 asked state residents to reduce electric use as much as possible through June 18. A significant number of forced generation outages combined with potential record electric use for the month of June has resulted in tight grid conditions, the grid operator noted.

Generator owners have reported approximately 11,000 megawatts (MW) of generation is on forced outage for repairs, ERCOT said. Of that, approximately 8,000 MW is thermal and the rest is intermittent resources. According to ERCOT’s summer seasonal assessment of resource adequacy, a typical range of thermal generation outages on hot summer days is around 3,600 MW.

“We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service,” said ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson in a statement. “This is unusual for this early in the summer season.”

According to generation owners, the number of outages should decrease throughout the week.

Wind output for June 14 was expected to be 3,500 to 6,000 MW between 3 and 9 p.m. This is roughly 1,500 MW lower than what is typically available for peak conditions. Wind output is expected to increase as the week goes on, ERCOT said.

The peak load forecast for June 14 may exceed 73,000 MW, the grid operator said, noting that the peak demand record for June is 69,123 MW set on June 27, 2018 between 4 and 5 p.m.