What is ERCOT? - NEC Coop
Jun 14, 2021 — News
Maybe you’ve heard of ERCOT, but do you actually know what ERCOT is? What does it have to do with electricity? More importantly, what does ERCOT have to do with you?
ERCOT is the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. By scheduling power on the statewide electricity grid, ERCOT manages the flow of electric power to more than 25 million Texas consumers. This grid connects over 46,500 miles of transmission line, making up about 90% of the state’s electric load.
ERCOT manages electricity for the state by planning how much power they expect to be pulled from the grid every year. Comparing usage from previous years, expected weather conditions and growth in electric demand predicted for upcoming seasons help them plan to have enough power to go around. Their goal is to maintain the electric grid’s reliability by making sure power generation is always equal to consumption while keeping a power reserve margin to cover higher demand occasions—like the hottest days of summer.
ERCOT aims to keep a reserve margin capacity, 12.6% for June-September 2020, which fluctuates seasonally based on forecasted demand. If the reserve margin drops lower than the targeted number, Energy Emergency Alerts (EEAs) may be issued to help preserve grid reliability.
Peak Demand and EEAs
Of course, summer is a season of elevated electricity consumption in Texas. Higher temperatures and people being home more usually means increased usage. Additionally, the hottest part of the day, from 3 to 7 p.m., is when most of the family is home, appliances and electronics are in use, and the temperature on the AC gets lowered. The demand for power usually peaks during this time frame.
If it becomes likely that statewide power consumption may equal or exceed the energy being generated and delivered, ERCOT may begin issuing EEAs to request the public conserve electricity to help increase the reserve margin and, in extreme cases, help avoid the possibility of rotating outages.
In the event ERCOT issue EEAs, NEC Co-op Energy will do its best to notify the public and its members through social media post and our website.
To learn more about ERCOT, visit ercot.com, and follow ERCOT on Facebook