Houston, TX (PRWEB) March 20, 2012
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the grid operator and manager of the flow of electric power from generators to millions of customers in Texas, issued its 10 year forecast indicating power generating capacity will fall below minimum thresholds for reserve capacity. The reserve capacity shortfall is predicted to be below the 13.75% targeted levels which is required to maintain reliable operation of the grid system. Shortfalls in reserve capacity will result in higher energy prices during the peak summer seasons. Prices are anticipated to increase over the next several years due to shortage of capacity. This shortage of capacity will also lead to rolling brownouts and blackouts.
While a number of factors determine electricity prices, unforeseen events such as extreme weather can lead to shortages and higher prices. Hot and dry summers can lead to the electric grid reaching capacity and leading to the need for emergency procedures and conservation of energy. Low temperatures and wind chill over the 2010/2011 winter forced ERCOT to ask utilities to schedule rotating outages due to peak demand.