USTIN, July 23, 2012 -- The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Board of Directors at its July meeting took several actions to ensure market rules and practices continue to support an efficient market and address future resource adequacy concerns.
Board members also sought assurance that the grid, generators and consumers are prepared for days when temperatures and electricity use likely will escalate.
“While significant efforts have gone into preparing for our peak season, we have a lot of work ahead of us,” said ERCOT Board Chairman Craven Crowell. “The recent rains and more normal temperatures have certainly been welcome, but our experience this summer shows that ERCOT must remain vigilant.”
Staff presented ongoing and upcoming conservation messaging and shared concepts for public service announcements that are scheduled to begin in August. The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) “Power to Save” campaign will focus on taking action during the 3-7 p.m. hours to reduce peak demand and help consumers save money on their electric bills.
“I’m encouraged by ERCOT’s and the PUC’s efforts to increase consumer education and awareness of the tremendous power consumers have in shaping our market,” said Crowell, reminding board members that “increasing the amount and sophistication of demand response is a key piece of the puzzle in resolving resource adequacy concerns.”
The board also approved implementing $500 user fees for congestion revenue right account holders and for independent entities that register to use ERCOT’s Market Information System. These participants will be required to pay fees consistent with those already assessed to qualified scheduling entities (QSEs) and competitive retailers.
ERCOT CEO Trip Doggett provided several updates, which included:
- On June 25 and 26, ERCOT experienced new June peak demand records of 65,047 megawatts (MW) and 66,583 MW, respectively, and the system was able to serve the load, as well as 66,002 MW of demand on June 27, without declaring an Energy Emergency Alert or deploying non-spinning reserves. One MW is enough electricity to power about 200 homes during peak demand.
- Wind power generation hit a new instantaneous record of 8,368 MW at 7:25 p.m. on June 19, surpassing the previous record of 7,925 MW set in April.
- ERCOT began in late June to post non-binding forward prices on its website to help encourage price-responsive demand.
- The first auction for participants in the Emergency Response Service 30-minute pilot project awarded contracts for less than 20 MW of demand response. Market participants had very limited time following new PUC rules and ERCOT approval of the project, and ERCOT staff anticipates more participation as the project matures.
- The ERCOT-sponsored Beginners Learning Alternative Designs for Energy club at Taylor High School won first prize, $1,000 for next year’s program, during the recent IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference in Austin.
- A recent Network Model Management System (NMMS) upgrade has integrated planning and operational modeling data, the successful result of six years of coordination by ERCOT and stakeholders to enable the planners and operators to work from the same data. Crowell praised the effort, which he said “leads the industry nationwide, and puts ERCOT and its market participants in a unique position to ensure current operations and future plans are based on an integrated, consistent data.”
Independent Market Monitor Report
In addition to his regular monthly report on electric prices, energy use, heat rate, congestion costs, ancillary services procurement and wind production, Dan Jones from Potomac Economics presented a report disputing recent claims of market manipulation.
The next regular meeting of the ERCOT board is scheduled for Sept. 18.