ERCOT to add 8.6GW through 2016

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) anticipates that more than 8.6GW of new wind capacity will enter its electric market through the end of 2016, according to its latest Capacity, Demand and Reserves report.

In February, the independent system operator for 85% of the state’s electric load, said its data indicated about 7.91GW in additions by then, with a further 500MW of wind likely in 2017.

On 1 January, Texas had 12.354GW of wind capacity with 11.065GW in ERCOT. It is the leading US state for wind installations.

The CDR report is a 10-year view of anticipated generation and forecast system peak demand, based on 12-year average weather conditions and other factors that affect electric use during peak demand periods.

ERCOT forecasters expect about 68GW of peak electric demand this summer, slightly less than the all-time record set on 3 August 2011. One megawatt is enough power to serve about 200 homes during peak demand conditions and about 500 homes during mild weather conditions

Nearly 74GW of installed generation capacity is expected to be available.

The CDR now counts wind power at 8.7% of installed capacity, although ERCOT stakeholders are considering alternative methods for estimating that capacity value, such as using historical performance during summer peak demand periods.

In 2013, wind comprised 9.9% of the total energy used in the ERCOT region versus 9.2% in 2012.

Wind generation within ERCOT this year has twice broken previous records – with a record 38.43% of 25.67GW systemwide demand 27 March.