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ERCOT peakload expected to reach record levels as extreme temperatures continue


Dallas highs in the 90s Fahrenheit

North Hub prices drop, gas prices elevated

  • Author
  • Karen Rivera
  • Editor
  • Rocco Canonica
  • Commodity
  • Natural Gas

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas forecast peakload May 9 to reach 70.1 GW, setting a new record for the month, up from the previous record of 67.3 GW set on May 29, 2018, according to ERCOT data collected by S&P Global Commodity Insights.

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Current month-to-date peakload has trended 20.3% higher compared to last year at the same time, as May 2021 peakload averaged 50,698 MW, according to ERCOT data. The current system-wide peak demand record is 74.82 GW reached Aug. 12, 2019.

Despite high peakload, spot power prices trended down across the board on the Intercontinental Exchange during May 9 trading, after trading in the triple digits the previous week in anticipation of high temperatures.

ERCOT North Hub day-ahead on-peak was valued about $21.50 lower to $75/MWh, and the real-time peak contract fell near $20.50/MWh to $73.50/MWh for May 10 delivery.

Intraday contracts on ICE also trended down, as North Hub real-time HE 0700-2200 declined $60.25 to price about $80.25/MWh.

Real-time locational marginal prices trended relatively usual to the past five operating days, as North Hub LMPs priced near $81.75/MWh as of 2:30 pm CT.

Natural gas prices continued elevated but also saw declines on the day, as Henry Hub fell 93 cents to price at $7.11/MMBtu as of 2:29 pm CT, CME data showed.

High temperatures remain

High peakload levels tracked the ongoing heatwave in Texas, as Dallas high May 9 temperatures jumped 13 degrees above the five-day average to 95 Fahrenheit.

Temperatures for May 10 would trend 11 degrees higher to 93 F, while highs through the end of the workweek were forecast to 91 F, according to CustomWeather data.

The US National Weather Service six- to 10-day outlook forecast a probability of above normal temperatures to continue for much of Texas.

ERCOT cancels notices

On May 7, ERCOT cancelled the advanced action notices it had previously issued May 6 for possible future emergency conditions of "reserve capacity deficiency." In the same notice, ERCOT said it was not seeking additional capacity and would not be issuing an outage schedule adjustment. The ISO stated it had deployed its responsive reserve in the later hours of May 8 but recalled the notice after five minutes.