By February 12, 2016 Read More →

Texas News: ERCOT issues 2015 state of the grid report

Texas has far more wind power than any other state, set wind generation records 8 times in 2015


Source: ERCOT

The business of generating electricity in Texas is rapidly changing as coal consumption declines, natural gas use increases, and renewables appear poised to play a bigger role – all of which was captured in ERCOT’s State of the Grid Report for 2015.

ERCOT, the operator of the electric grid and market serving most of Texas, today released the report earlier this week.

Texas leads the nation in wind generation capacity, with more than twice the amount found in Iowa, the next closest state. In 2015, installed solar capacity in ERCOT grew by nearly half, from 193 MW to 288 MW.

“From setting a new all-time peak demand record to the integration of record amounts of renewable wind generation resources into our system, ERCOT continues to evolve to meet the demands of the region,” said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness in a press release.

Also summarized in the 2015 report is the successful transition to a new CEO and other changes within the ERCOT leadership team. That includes the hiring of Magness to succeed Trip Doggett, who retired as the longest-serving CEO in ERCOT’s history, and the announcement of Cheryl Mele as Chief Operating Officer (beginning Jan. 18, 2016).

“I’m immensely proud of the work our team did to fulfill our promise to people within the ERCOT region,” said Magness.


Cheryl Mele, Chief Operating Officer, ERCOT

A number of factors — from severe weather to a deliberate physical or cyber attack — could create a significant disturbance on the grid. Because electricity is vital to the region, ERCOT says it is committed to the task of securing not only its facilities but also the data and information that are critical to grid and market operations.

In 2015, ERCOT brought its physical security team in-house, helping to ensure that they can maintain the highest of standards, provide a consistent work environment for key security personnel and implement industry-leading training to protect not only physical and cyber assets, but also ERCOT’s most important resource: people.

Additionally, the report provides updates on a number of ERCOT initiatives and milestones, which included setting new wind generation records on eight different occasions.

Among many ongoing changes to electric systems and markets worldwide is the growth of distributed energy resources (DERs), which can include batteries and other evolving storage technology, clusters of rooftop solar arrays, small fossil fuel generators, or combinations of the above.

During 2015, a special ERCOT stakeholder engagement group — the Distributed Resource Energy and Ancillaries Market, or DREAM, task force — explored many policy and technical issues associated with introducing this next generation of resources to the ERCOT competitive wholesale market with respect to distributed energy.

The report — “Your Power. Our Promise.” — also highlights ERCOT’s commitment to ensuring electricity goes where it is needed — and planning ahead to continue fulfilling that promise as grid conditions and resources change. Details of those efforts are grouped according to the ERCOT core values they demonstrate.

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