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New Project Media: With Texas Peak Coming, Renewables and Storage will be Key – TAEBA's Bertin Says

Posted by Andrew Burnes on Jun 17, 2020

New Project Media covered the reliability of the Texas grid during the summer months, quoting TAEBA's Suzanne Bertin. Read excerpts below and the entire New Project Media piece here (sub. req.). 

As Texas begins a summer season that has already seen temperatures rise into triple digits, some analysts, business owners and residents across the state have become increasingly concerned about the grid operators at ERCOT’s ability to cope with a projected record high peak demand in August following the COVID-related slowdowns that have affected energy projects under construction across the state...

However, Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA) Managing Director Suzanne Bertin remains confident that the grid will be able to cope with the increased demand.

“We expect the grid to handle this summer’s demand based on ERCOT’s Resource Adequacy Report, meeting peak load of 75.2 GW with a reserve margin of 12.6 percent,” Bertin said. According to Bertin, the key to meeting this demand is the increase of renewable resources, particularly wind, over the last year to raise the reserve margin to a comfortable level.

Wind energy makes up 26 percent of Texas’ energy generation, up from 20 percent last year thanks to nearly a GW of new additions in the last three quarters. Bertin says that the state “also has a lot more solar in the development queue,” and says that ERCOT’s demand response tools may come into play this summer as they did last year.

“We’ll be watching for increased contributions of demand response and renewables in meeting Texas’ electricity needs,” Bertin said. “ERCOT also has several demand response tools available to grid operators to maintain reliability of the grid.”

However, the vast majority of the new energy additions came before the COVID outbreak, which has affected the Texas energy market severely in some sectors, particularly among smaller power companies and developers. While Bertin says that Texas’ largest outdoor construction projects continue to move forward there have been slow-downs for residential projects despite an increase in sales inquiries and interest.

A particularly problematic number is reported 33,000 jobs lost in the Texas advanced energy sector, which Bertin says makes up over 13 percent of the state’s workforce. The ramifications of these losses are difficult to measure at this time, but analysts like those at Texas-based Vistra Energy have projected that this may put additional strain on an already stressed grid for years to come...

Read the entire New Project Media piece here (sub. req.). 

Topics: AEE In The News