UPDATE 1-After winter crisis, Texas power grid assures will meet record summer demand

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March 25 (Reuters) - The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the power grid in most of the state, said on Thursday it anticipates there will be sufficient generation to meet record-breaking demand forecast for this summer.

ERCOT, which severely under-forecast demand during extreme cold weather in mid-February resulting in rotating power outages and record power and natural gas prices, said the summer forecast was based on information provided by generation owners.

In response to the winter cold snap that forced half of the generation in ERCOT to go offline, the grid operator said it has included more extreme scenarios in its summer forecast.

“ERCOT will benefit from growth in generation resources, but forecasts are also showing another record-breaking summer on the demand side,” said ERCOT’s Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson.

“Overall, power reserves are in a better position heading into this summer compared to the past few years,” he said, referring to the surplus of generation available over expected peak usage.

ERCOT, which anticipates there will be nearly 87,000 megawatts (MW) of resource capacity available this summer, projected the reserve margin will reach 15.5% by summer, up from 12.6% in 2020 and just 8.6% in 2019.

ERCOT said it anticipates a summer 2021 peak of 77,144 MW, which would top the grid’s current record of 74,820 MW set on Aug. 12, 2019.

One megawatt typically provides enough power for 200 homes on a hot summer day.

To prepare for the summer ERCOT and its market participants will take several steps to ensure system reliability, including limiting planned transmission work during summer months and better communication between power generators and gas pipeline operators.

“ERCOT is committed to working with legislators, regulators and stakeholders on how to prepare for more extreme outcomes moving forward,” said Rickerson. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino Editing by Marguerita Choy)