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ERCOT Power Demand Hits June Record in Extreme Heat

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Western power markets from California to Texas are up against extreme heat and low wind production, putting electric grids under duress and prompting ERCOT officials to ask Texans to conserve energy through Friday.

A new June record demand level was set in ERCOT Monday. Enverus estimated demand reached near 69,943 MW during hour ending 16:00, ERCOT will announce the official value at a later date. The level would have come in higher if ERCOT had not made the public call for conservation and 4CP customers had not curtailed.

Analyst Quicktake: June 14, 2021. Watch Enverus’ mid-day power market outlook from the day that ERCOT power demand hit a new record for the month of June.

The new record set on June 14, 2021, surpasses the 69,123 MW record set June 27th, 2018. Enverus began alerting customers of the risk during the week ended June 11, 2021, and sent an email alert to our 4CP(**) clients the morning of the record demand.

As of June 15, Enverus forecasts continue to show some risk of Peak Demand meeting or exceeding the new record this week.

ERCOT reports forced outages and encourages power conservation

On June 14, ERCOT reporting the following outages to media:

  • Power generators that create about 11,000 MW were on forced outages due to repairs Monday, according to officials
  • About 8,000 MW of that is thermal while the rest is intermittent resources
  • ERCOT typically predicts the grid will have about 3,600 MW of thermal outages on hot summer days

Analysis from early on June 15 showed day-over-day improvements in thermal plant availability in North Zone and Houston Zone of about 750 MW in each zone. As the event unfolds, outage numbers are fluid and subject to change throughout the day, especially following forced outage situations.

Low wind availability conditions ongoing in ERCOT

Very low wind availability remains a risk throughout the week. Day-time (On-Peak) wind production during June typically is expected to average around 11,700 MW after adjusting for new capacity. Wind is currently only averaging daily between 3,000-6,000 MW through Sunday, June 20, 2021. We expect wind production potential to increase near average next week, though it does not help through the hot conditions this week.

Replay: Enverus 2021 ERCOT Summer Outlook

Did you miss our latest web presentation of our summer outlook for ERCOT in 2021? The replay is now available to watch on demand. Click here to watch!

** 4CP is a program where participants can lower their cost of transmission service by reducing their power consumption during the peak interval (calculated every 15 minutes) of each of the four summer months in ERCOT beginning in June and ending in September.

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Scott Bruns is a senior power analyst at Enverus. Before joining Enverus, Scott traded physical and financial power for nearly a decade at Direct Energy. Changing focus, he moved into the fundamental analysis group at Direct where he focused on developing congestion models and provided traders with short- and long-term price views. In his spare time, Scott enjoys enhancing his Python programming skills and taking his puppy to the dog park with his wife and children. Scott has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Houston.