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Electric Power Markets: Texas (ERCOT)

Texas (ERCOT) Electric Regions  
2007 Texas (ERCOT) Electric Regions  

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    States covered: Most of Texas

    Reliability regions: Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) [NERC regions map PDF]

    Balancing authority: Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) [NERC balancing authorities map PDF]

    Zones: Houston, North, South, West

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    ERCOT schedules and centrally dispatches the grid within a single control area, ensures transmission reliability and wholesale open access, and manages financial settlement in the wholesale power market. It also administers the Texas competitive retail market, including customer switching.  ERCOT operates wholesale markets for:

    • Balancing energy
    • Ancillary service markets with zonal congestion management.

    Market participants trade electricity bilaterally directly, through brokers and through the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE). Physical products predominantly use the ERCOT hub pricing point, but physical and financial products priced at the four ERCOT zones are also traded.

    ERCOT 2009 State of the Markets Report PDF External Link

    Market Monitor:
    Dan Jones of Potomac Economics – Independent Market Monitor, ERCOT
    Jess Totten, Design Oversight and Pam Whittington Enforcement Oversight, PUC of Texas

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    Marginal fuel type: Coal and natural gas

    Generating capacity (summer 2007): 71,244 MW

    Capacity reserve (summer 2007): 8,744 MW

    Reserve margin (summer 2007): 14%

    The region currently has excess capacity, and some generation has recently been mothballed or decommissioned. Reserve margins are nevertheless expected to decline to ERCOT's 12.5% target in the next two years.

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    All time peak demand: 65.7 GW (Set August 23, 2010)

    Peak demand growth: 1.9% (2008–2009)

      2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
    Summer Peak Demand (MW) 60.2 63.3 62.5 62.2 63.4
    Source: PUC of Texas

Prices at ERCOT North Hub
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    Annual Average Real-Time Price

    2005: $66.83/MWh
    2006: $52.02/MWh
    2007: $52.20/MWh
    2008: $63.48/MWh
    2009: $29.78/MWh

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    The ERCOT control area is not synchronously connected to the Eastern or Western Interconnection (it is a separate interconnection) but it can exchange about 860 MW with SPP and Mexico through DC links.

Contact Information:
For questions regarding the material in the ERCOT section please contact our staff at: oversight@ferc.gov

Updated: February 26, 2015