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The grid operator reports that the state remains on track to add more than 5,000 MW of new installed wind capacity, which would be the most wind ever added to the grid during any given year.

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Texas should have enough electricity on hand to meet customer demand this winter and spring, according to recent reports from the state’s primary grid operator.

Released this week by ERCOT, the two reports – the final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report for the upcoming winter season and the preliminary assessment for the spring season — forecast the state’s electric reliability outlook for the next six months.

The winter report shows seasonal peak demand on the grid at 57,699 megawatts and it forecasts nearly 83,000 MW of resource capacity to meet that peak. If the projections prove accurate, that winter capacity would even surpass the state’s all-time winter peak demand record of 65,915 MW set back in 2018. The available generation this winter will include 963 MW of wind and utility-scale solar projects, according to ERCOT.

“In the winter, we’re dealing with morning and evening peaks and sometimes extreme volatility in the weather,” said Manager of Resource Adequacy Pete Warnken. “We studied a range of potential risks under both normal and extreme conditions, and believe there is sufficient generation to adequately serve our customers.”

MORE WIND, SOLAR

ERCOT, also known as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas,  likewise reports that the state remains on track to add more than 5,000 MW of new installed wind capacity, which would be the most wind ever added to the grid during any given year. ERCOT also expects utility-scale solar on the grid during 2020 to more than double, as compared to the end of last year.

ERCOT’s preliminary spring report also suggests that the grid should have sufficient generation available to meet system needs during the spring of 2021. Specifically, the report predicts the state will have 64,548 MW on hand to meet the seasonal peak, including 4,262 MW of new gas-fired units, wind and utility-scale solar.

ERCOT’s final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report for the upcoming winter season, which covers the period from December 2020 through February 2021, can be found at this link. The preliminary assessment for the spring season, covering March through May 2021, can be found here.

The final spring SARA report will be released in early March 2021, along with the preliminary summer SARA.

— R.A. Dyer