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Deja Vu? Texas NatGas Output Plunges Amid Cold Snap

Deja Vu? Texas NatGas Output Plunges Amid Cold Snap

U.S. natural gas futures rose late in the session on new data that showed a plunge in pipeline gas flows in Texas, which indicates the state’s power grid could be susceptible to failures amid a cold snap.

Front-month gas futures are up more than 3% to $3.84 around 1445 ET as commodity traders assess the situation in Texas.

“Production of the heating and power generation fuel in Texas fell on Sunday to the lowest since February’s freeze — when millions were sent into the dark for days — after temperatures plunged,” BloombergNEF pipeline data showed. Flows are expected to rebound when temperatures rebound. 

Temperatures in The Lone Star State are expected to rebound in the coming days.

However, warmer weather might not return to much of the U.S. until next Tuesday. Mean temperatures will oscillate around a 30-year average for the next eight days, occasionally dipping to below-average levels. The coldest point is between Jan. 8-11.

Heating degree days for the U.S. show cold weather will increase the demand for energy to heat building structures.

A plunge in gas supplies comes right after the Electric Reliability Council (ERCOT) of Texas said the power grid is “winterized and ready to provide power.”

Last February, a cold snap froze wellhead across the state that parazyled gas flows. Power plants couldn’t get enough fuel to spin turbines, and combine that with extraordinarily high power demand from customers to stay warm, the grid was minutes from collapse — forcing ERCOT, the grid operator — to implement rolling blackouts.

Despite ERCOT’s confidence that grid stability can be achieved this winter, keep an eye on Texas and pray for warmer weather; if not, another energy crisis could be nearing.

Electric grid operator asks Texans to stop blasting AC as unplanned outages and heat collide

Electric grid operator asks Texans to stop blasting AC as unplanned outages and heat collide

The electric power grid manager for most of Texas has issued its first conservation alert of the summer, calling on users to dial back energy consumption to avert an emergency. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(CNN)The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the organization that operates much of the Lone Star State’s electric grid, asked residents for a second day in a row Tuesday to conserve as much energy as possible until Friday.

The strain on the grid stems from record-high demand for electricity amid increasing summer heat and a higher than usual number of forced outages at power plants, the organization said.
“When ERCOT issued a call for conservation on Monday, Texans responded strongly by reducing electric demand during the late afternoon. ERCOT continues to encourage Texans to conserve power each afternoon during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m. through this Friday,” a news release by ERCOT read.
“ERCOT has been leveraging every resource at its disposal, including activating all available generating units to help serve customer demand before calling for conservation. Approximately 1,200 MW of power was regained overnight Monday when some repairs were completed. One MW typically powers around 200 homes on a summer day.”
ERCOT said Monday that energy generator owners have reported about 11,000 MegaWatts of generation are on forced outage for repairs, including about 8,000 MW of thermal energy. That’s significantly higher than on a typical hot summer day, when the range of thermal generation outages is about 3,600 MW, the organization said.
“We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service,” said ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson. “This is unusual for this early in the summer season.”
Wind output was also expected to be lower than usual on Mounday, but the output was expected to increase as the week moved on, ERCOT said.
While the system’s energy capacity is lower, ERCOT customers have simultaneously been using record amounts of energy to cool their homes. According to the release, ERCOT has set a new June record for electricity demand.
“Based on preliminary data, the new record is 69,943 MW, which exceeds the 2018 June record by approximately 820 MW,” the release said. “Power plant owners continue repairs of unexpected equipment failures, and ERCOT is using all the tools in its toolbox to maintain reliability in the face of potential record-setting electricity demand.”
The National Weather Service of Fort Worth warned of a hot day Tuesday with temperatures forecast to be in the mid to upper 90s. The heat wave is expected to last through Friday.
ERCOT said last month that it anticipated record-breaking electric demand this summer due to hot and dry conditions and economic and population growth in the region. That trend is likely to continue in future years as human-caused climate change drives more extreme heat waves in Texas. A 2020 report from the Texas state climatologist concluded

Texas Faces New Power Crisis: Prices Soar 10,000% As ERCOT Urges Power Conservation Amid Grid ‘Emergency’

Texas Faces New Power Crisis: Prices Soar 10,000% As ERCOT Urges Power Conservation Amid Grid ‘Emergency’

Texas’ power grid operator, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which came under immense pressure months ago for mishandling the historic winter storm in mid-February, urged customers Tuesday afternoon to “reduce their electricity use” as a cold front swept through, causing power demand to spike.

ERCOT told customers to please “conserve energy at this time. Consumers and businesses are urged to reduce their electricity use this afternoon and into the evening.”

Texas’ power grid operator also said:

“Due to a combination of high gen outages typical in April & higher-than-forecasted demand caused by a stalled cold front over TX, ERCOT may enter emergency conditions. 

With a cold front moving through the Lone Star state some generation units were already down for repair work. Bloomberg reports one spot price for Texas power jumped as much as 10,000% on Tuesday.

In particular, the average spot on-peak electricity at Ercot’s North Hub jumped more than 10,000% to $1,975.96 a megawatt-hour as of 4 p.m, according to grid data compiled by Genscape. Prices are capped at $2,000 a megawatt hour, after regulators suspended the previous $9,000 cap following the energy crisis.

The grid has seen tight supply conditions as below-average temperatures pour into the state this week.

So far, “We do not expect customer outages. Declaring an emergency would allow us to access additional resources,” ERCOT said, although it requested energy conservation. 

The internet was not enthused by ERCOT’s grid warning today:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Power Grid Chaos Jolts Texas On Friday, Energy Costs Triple Amid Heat Wave

Power Grid Chaos Jolts Texas On Friday, Energy Costs Triple Amid Heat Wave

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has been asking customers to conserve energy this week as spot power prices in Texas triple to a record on Friday.

The state’s power grid operator that serves most of Texas declared an energy conservation emergency for the second time this week, the first on Tuesday when temperatures exceeded 100 degrees, and customers cranked up their air conditioners to escape the heat.

ERCOT asked customers this week to reduce energy use between 3 and 7 p.m. Here is what they asked Texans to do:

  • Increase thermostats 2 to 3 degrees
  • Program thermostats at a higher temp when not at home
  • Use a fan, it can lower temperatures by 4 to 6 degrees
  • Use appliances less (dishwashers, washers, and dryers) or only in the morning hours.
  • Run pool pumps in the early morning or overnight hours and shut them off between 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Keep blinds and drapes closed during the hottest part of the day.

ERCOT reported no rotating power outages.

“High temperatures have resulted in record electricity demand over the last few days and may result in a new record today,” said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. “Consumers can help lower energy consumption by taking some simple actions between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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