Texas Sees Power Generation Reserves Below Target in 2013

By Mark Chediak - Dec 10, 2012 3:30 PM CT

Bloomberg News

Power-generation reserves in Texasare forecast to be below the state’s target for the summer of 2013, increasing the risk of blackouts during the hottest days, the state’s grid operator said.

Reserves are expected to be at 13.2 percent for the summer of 2013, below the 13.75 percent target, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said in a report posted on its website today. ERCOT, which serves 85 percent of the state’s power demand, said reserves will drop to 10.9 percent in the summer of 2014.

“The projected reserve margin for summer 2013 has dropped slightly since May, but we are seeing healthier reserve margins in future years,” ERCOT Chief Executive Officer Trip Doggett said in an e-mailed statement. The grid operator used a more conservative economic report than in its May forecast as growth has slowed recently, ERCOT said.

New power plants under construction may push reserves to 13.6 percent, slightly below the target if they come online by August 2014, ERCOT said. In 2015, generation reserves are forecast at 10.5 percent.