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ERCOT Predicts 16% Chance Of Grid Emergency In August 2024

A blackout or other emergency would likely occur around 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A recent report by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), predicts a 16% likelihood of an electrical grid emergency and a 12% chance of rolling blackouts in August.

According to ERCOT, in August, Texas might see the energy demand soar to 78,000 megawatts, while the state anticipates a supply of 83,000 megawatts for what is typically the hottest month of the year. 

The Texas grid is projected to meet the anticipated surge in power demand this summer, though it may come close to its capacity. A rolling blackout may be initiated to prevent statewide grid failure if the state's operational energy reserves fall below 2,500 megawatts.

The report shows that the most likely scenario for a blackout or other emergency would occur around 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. — when the grid typically faces its highest stress and solar power production decreases while usage rates peak. But, according to ERCOT, the likelihood of grid emergencies could also rise if wind power output is lower than usual.

According to the current forecast, June carries a 1% probability of a grid emergency and a 0.27% chance of a blackout, while July is expected to have a 4.8% likelihood of a grid emergency and a 2.36% chance of a blackout.

In a usual June grid setup, there's expected to be ample generating capacity for the hour with the highest risk of reserve shortage, which ends at 9 p.m. In July, both scenarios center around the 9 p.m. hour, identified as having the highest likelihood of reserve shortage according to the Probabilistic Reserve Risk Model.

Last year, the council forecasted peak demand to reach 82,739 megawatts during the 2023 summer. The Texas grid broke the demand record 11 times in 2022 with demand reaching a high of approximately 80,000 megawatts during extreme heat. 

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