Last Winter was challenging for some regions of the US, in particular the extreme, prolonged cold in February 2021, which had significant impacts on natural gas and electric markets, leading to power outages and record high natural gas and electric prices and loss of life.
During the severe weather event 1,045 individual generating units (with a combined 192,818MW of nameplate capacity) in Texas and the South-Central US experienced 4,124 outages, derates or failures to start. To provide perspective on how significant the outages were, including generation already on planned or unplanned outages, ERCOT averaged 34,000MW of generation unavailable (based on expected capacity) for over two consecutive days, from 7am February 15 to 1pm February 17, equivalent to nearly half of its all-time winter peak electric load of 69,871MW. The result was a combined 23,418MW of manual firm load shed - the largest controlled firm load shed event in US history.
While FERC is anticipating that reserve margins for the winter months will be sufficient for all markets and regions, the most severe scenario considered by ERCOT (very high power demand, extensive natural gas and other fossil fuel outages, and excessively low renewable power production) still does not capture the amount of power lost during winter storm Uri in 2021.
GridBeyond VP for North America, Wayne Muncaster said: “GridBeyond expects prices for all fuels to be higher than in recent winters. Rising wholesale commodity prices for natural gas, oil, and petroleum products are already being passed through to retail prices. And, as winter approaches, it is increasingly likely that large industrial energy users may be required to cease operating to protect priority end-users in some markets. Services, such as those provided by GridBeyond, which support businesses in gaining financial payments to businesses who agree to reduce energy in response to grid signals, will play a crucial role in keeping the lights on this winter and provides an alternative to ramping up fossil-fuelled generation to accommodate spikes in demand.”
We are hosting a webinar on January 25, 10.30am CT /11.30pm ET, where GridBeyond VP for North America, Wayne Muncaster and Business Development Manager (North America) Alden Phinney will examine
- How energy procurement strategies can mitigate risk
- How on-site generation and battery storage can be optimized to bring revenue as well as resilience
- How demand response can play a key role in supporting the wider power system to boost resilience for all
The transition to a Net Zero economy is driving significant change in the energy sector. From the rise of renewables generation to the ever-increasing need for grid balancing services. The result is a significant requirement for scalable and real-time solutions to manage the energy system of tomorrow.
At GridBeyond our vision is to build a shared energy economy that delivers sustainability, resilience, affordability and adaptability through collaboration and innovation. By bridging the gap between distributed energy resources and energy markets, our technology means every connected asset, whether its utility-scale renewables generation, energy storage or industrial load, can be utilised to help balance the grid. The benefit?
By intelligently dispatching flexibility into the right market, at the right time, asset owners and energy consumers unlock new revenues & savings, resilience, manage price volatility, while supporting the transition to a Net Zero future.