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August 13, 2019

Electricity price tops $6,000 as ERCOT sets new demand record

by Kelso King, Grid Monitor
Posted 08/12/2019

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for much of the state, reported demand hit 74,531 megawatts (MW) between 4 and 5 p.m. CDT on Monday. The prior all-time record was 73,473 MW on July 19, 2018.

This came on the heels of a new ERCOT weekend peak demand record of 71,864 MW that was set on Sunday, August 11, between 5 and 6 p.m.

On Monday, ERCOT’s system-wide average real-time locational marginal price hit triple digits, $103.24/MWh, for the 15 minutes ending at 1:00 pm CDT, then soared to $1,400/MWh for the 15 minutes ended 2 pm, before skyrocketing to $6,537 at 3 pm. The price stayed above $1,000/MWh until 5:15 pm, falling to $667/MWh before temporarily rising again to $802 at 5:30 pm.

On Friday, the price only stayed above $1,000 for an hour but on Monday the price remained above $1,000 for more than 3 hours and above $2,000 for almost 2 hours. The price did not fall below $100 until 6:30 pm.

ERCOT’s wholesale price is currently capped at $9,000 per megawatt-hour.

Monday morning at 5:00 am ERCOT issued an Operating Condition Notice (OCN) for the afternoon due to a projected Reserve Capacity Shortage from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Just before 2:00 pm, ERCOT issued an Advisory due to its Physical Responsive Capability falling below 3,000 MW. ERCOT deployed responsive reserves at approximately 2:40 pm.

Peak demand on Monday was 74,531 MW, slightly below ERCOT’s forecast peak of 75,072 MW for the day.

Wind generation produced less than forecast amounts from noon to 2:00 pm, almost 1,800 MW below expectations at 1:00 pm, but bounced back to exceed the forecast from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Wind generation contributed its minimum for the day of 5,079 MW at 2:00 pm.

With no relief from the heat in sight, high demand and high prices are expected to continue.

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