Demonstrating Resource Adequacy in ERCOT
Synapse assisted the Sierra Club in proceedings regarding ERCOT’s ability to maintain and incentivize sufficient future resources. ERCOT’s December 2011 Capacity, Demand and Reserves (CDR) report indicated that the independent system operator would soon drop dangerously below its targeted reserve margin and reach a negative value in 2020. Concerns about ERCOT’s reserve margins deepened following grid emergencies caused by unanticipated generator outages during an ice storm in February 2011 and the summer heat wave of 2011. More recent CDR reports showed improvements to future reserve margins, but long-term concerns remained. Synapse reviewed the CDR report and determined that with reasonable adjustments to forecast values, the target reserve margin will be met or exceeded for the next ten years. In two scenarios, “Counting What Already Exists” and “Augmenting Demand-Side Resources,” reserve margin levels exceed the 13.75 percent target level through 2023.