Texas Electric Connection
ERCOT Regulatory Highlights, provided by PBPA member Pumpjack Power
For the month of May, 2020…
• ERCOT is poised to release the May Capacity, Demand, and Reserves Report and the Summer Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy.
• ERCOT is providing observations on load destruction from COVID-19.
• ERCOT releases its annual State of the Grid Report.
• The PUC modifies support for Residential Customers affected by COVID-19.
• ERCOT updates its Pandemic Plan Preparation related to COVID-19.
ERCOT scheduled to Release Resource Adequacy Reports on May 13
ERCOT will be releasing the May Capacity, Demand, and Reserves Report (CDR) and the Summer Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) on May 13. ERCOT staff is using the updated Moody’s economic forecast scenarios in the preparation of these reports. This could include impacts from COVID-19 as well as West Texas oil and gas implications from the global price wars.
In addition, several Notices of Suspension of Operation have been filed. The first, which has been approved by ERCOT, is the official retirement of Okalunion Power Station set for October 1, 2020. This unit has a summer capacity of 650 MW. The second is a change in status dates for seasonally mothballed units. The City of Garland’s Spencer Units 4 and 5, each with a 61 MW capacity, will return to service May 20 through October 10 rather than the originally scheduled dates of June 1 – September 30.
ERCOT Observations on Load Destruction from COVID-19
ERCOT began providing observations on load impacts from COVID-19 at the April 1 TAC meeting. ERCOT is providing an updated load impact analysis on a weekly basis and it can be found on the Trending Topics section of the ERCOT website. For much the first two weeks of April, peak load was about 2 % lower, and weekly energy usage had decreased by 4 – 5 %. For the third week of April, and the first part of the fourth week, peak load decreased by 4 – 5 percent. By the end of April and the beginning of May, weekday peaks were only 2 % lower, and weekend peaks had returned to pre-COVID-19 levels. The latest update includes all data, and incorporates the last part of April and into May.
As a reminder, the ERCOT load forecasting team is using the most recent version of the mid-term load forecast that was last updated in January as a baseline in which they input actual weather experienced since COVID-19 shelter-in-place instructions have been in place to create a backcast. The difference between the baseline and the backcast is “model error” and a component of the error is the impact in customer demand from COVID-19 orders.
ERCOT State of the Grid Report Released
ERCOT Released its State of the Grid annual report in April. The report provides a brief review of 2019, noting the record-setting year with demand exceeding 74,000 MW during a period of historically low reserve margins. It also provides summaries on grid security, technological advancements, energy and peak demands, energy use and fuel mixes – including wind, solar and batteries, and a summary of interconnection request data.
The PUC modifies Residential Support for Customers Experiencing by COVID-19 Economic Hardship The Public Utility Commission approved the COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program (ERP) to help Texans in genuine financial distress as a result of COVID-19. (PUC FAQ) This is only for residential customers. The program will end on July 17, 2020. Funding for the ERP is through paying customers with a new monthly fee ($0.33/MWh transmission rider), losses absorbed by Retail Electric Providers (REPS receive $0.04/KWh), and deferred Payment Plans for ERP customers. The rider will remain in place and reimbursements to TDUs and REPs will continue after the COVID-19 ERP has ended to complete cost recovery Data collected for April 1 – 24 shows a total amount collected at $4.717 million. Total number of kWh billed under the TDUs’ ERP tariff riders: • CenterPoint: 4,878,150,665 kWh • Oncor: 7,107,050,650 kWh • AEP Texas Central: 1,244,405,167 kWh • AEP Texas North: 354,735,105 kWh • TNMP: 709,743,148 kWh Total number of ESI IDs in the TDUs’ service areas actually qualified for the ERP following TDU review of the MarkeTrak request: • CenterPoint: 3,269 • Oncor: 3,345 • AEP Texas: 1,681 • TNMP: 336
ERCOT Measures Related to COVID-19
ERCOT’s Pandemic Plan Preparation for Coronavirus (COVID-19) was updated on March 31. ERCOT is working to protect grid operators and staff through varied measures. In addition, staff is working from home and all ERCOT meetings are conducted through WebEx. The most recent ERCOT market notice indicates the measures will continue through May 17.
Upcoming ERCOT and PUC Meetings:
Retail Market Subcommittee – May 5 (Webex)
Retail Electric Provider/Utility Summer Prep Meeting – May 5 (Webex)
Wholesale Market Subcommittee – May 6 (Webex)
Reliability and Operations Subcommittee – May 7 (Webex)
Real-Time Co-optimization Task Force – May 11, and 30 (Webex)
Protocol Revision Subcommittee – May 13 (Webex)
Battery Energy Storage Task Force – May 16 (Webex)
Technical Advisory Committee – May 29 (Webex)
ERCOT Board Meeting – June 14
All data provided in this report is intended for general information use only. Pumpjack Power does not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of this data, nor does Pumpjack Power assume any liability for any loss that may result from the reliance by any person or entity on this information. For more information on Pumpjack Power, please visit www.pumpjackpower.com.