As portions of North Texas are under a Winter Storm Warning, ERCOT has issued a notice saying it anticipates “tight grid conditions” until Friday.
At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, a graph provided on ERCOT’s website shows the current demand at 61,736 MW and a supply of 65,569 MW, a difference of only 3,833 MW.
The graph also shows a “Quick Start” capacity of 67,869 MW, meaning extra generating units can come on-line within 10 minutes of receiving ERCOT notice.
Those “Quick Start” units could provide an additional 2,300 MW, if those units are requested to come on-line by ERCOT.
As the graph progresses through the night, in the 10 p.m. hour, there is expected to only be 1,365 MW left between the supply and demand, without any “Quick Start” units.
The notice issued by ERCOT stated, “To ensure all possible generation is available to serve system demand, ERCOT has requested that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) exercise its enforcement discretion with respect to generator exceedances of TCEQ air permit limitations.”
While the notice is in place, power providers will more likely get forgiveness for environmental issues.
At this time, ERCOT has not issued any alerts asking people to conserve. But the wind has died down significantly, leaving the state with less wind energy on the grid into Thursday morning.
An energy industry source briefed on the situation tells NBC 5, the tightest spot is expected to be around 8 a.m. when people use more power as they wake up and the wind is not expected to return until later in the morning. But right now, ERCOT still projects it will have plenty of reserve power to call in if needed.
A spokesperson for ERCOT issued a statement to NBC DFW saying “Our forecast shows there is sufficient generation to meet expected demand and we continue to inform the market and others of evolving weather conditions. Out of an abundance of caution, ERCOT requested enforcement discretion earlier today so that no generation units become unavailable due to environmental limits. We will continue our aggressive approach to meet the energy needs of Texas.”