ERCOT expects to use 2,000 MW of mothballed capacity

In preparation for a warmer and drier than average summer, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has released plans to use nearly 2,000 MW of mothballed capacity for an indefinite period of time. Owners have decided to return inactive units to service, including about 430 MW of capacity that was not available last summer.

ERCOT expects to have nearly 74,000 MW of generation resources available to serve summer needs. Generators have notified ERCOT that they plan to bring these plants back on-line to meet high summer demand. Additionally, following a federal court ruling late last year, some units that anticipated being unable to run under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) will be able to operate this summer since the rule has been stayed by a federal court.

Additionally, ERCOT has released a Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) for summer 2012. The quarterly SARA report, which ERCOT initiated in 2011, considers near-term conditions and elements such as weather and economic conditions that can affect generation and demand forecasts.

The summer 2012 assessment assumes weather will be warmer and drier than the 15-year historical average but less extreme than 2011, based on information from the National Weather Service and from Telvent, which provides weather forecasting data for ERCOT. Forecasts also indicate the possibility of tropical storm activity early in the summer and the potential for more variable rain.

A presentation displaying the mothballed capacity that will be brought online during the summer months is available here. (PDF)

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