June 12, 2019

Summer arrived this week and 4CP watchers have their antennae up

Last week, I was discussing Summer 2019 energy price forecasts on the phone with a colleague at a large industrial concern when he suddenly interrupted our conversation.  “Hey man, “he said, “check this out.  Some consultant just sent me a warning that the June coincident peak may occur on Saturday.”

I knew the Central Texas Saturday forecast called for high heat and humidity but, as I told my friend in Houston, I did not think a 4CP interval had ever occurred on a Saturday in the modern ERCOT era – too many schools and offices are closed to set a monthly demand record.  Thus, began my quest to track down all 68 of the reported 4CP intervals since the first year of ERCOT single control area operations in 2002.

After confirming my hunch that a Saturday coincident peak has never occurred, I sliced and diced the data to come up with a few other views on historical 4CP occurrences and, voilà! we had a shiny new graphic to post on Grid Monitor. 

Anyway, here’s the spoiler – In the past 17 years, no coincident peak hours have occurred on a weekend day.  And in addition, almost 30% of all CP days have been a Wednesday.

It is one thing to intuitively know something – like the odds are pretty darned low that my friend’s consultant will be right about the occurrence of an early June Saturday coincident peak – but it is something more to being able to communicate that knowledge.  The old adage is true, a picture can easily be worth a thousand words or, in this case, worth 17 regulatory filings spread over 17 years.

If you are new to Grid Monitor or just starting your trial account, you can see our previous featured graphics just by selecting “Graphic” in the drop-down menu at the top of the main News page.  (Another tip: you can use that menu to quickly filter the news by venue – like “ERCOT Wholesale Market” or “Texas Legislature.”)

A closing note on the subject of our graphics:  in case you haven’t tried yet, please steal them.  Seriously.  We post our original graphics in a format that allows our subscribers to download them for use in their own work product.  Just right-click the image and save it.  In our quest to make you a more efficient communicator of ERCOT market knowledge, hopefully one of these pictures will save you a thousand words the next time you’re slaving away on a slide deck. 

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