On Tuesday, May 17th, the McKinney Chamber hosted their Spring Quarterly Luncheon. Our special guests were Donnie Clary, CEO of CoServ and Kenan Ogelman, VP of Commercial Operations at ERCOT. This in-depth discussion with two energy industry leaders focused on the current trends we are seeing and what the future of energy has in store for us at the local and statewide level.
This Energy Panel was a timely topic. ERCOT just released the Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report which shows multiple demand and usage scenarios and how various factors may impact the resources available to the Texas grid. According to the report, despite unseasonably hot weather, ERCOT expects sufficient generation to meet forecasted high demand.
As Texas grows and our commercial and residential power needs increase, new generation sources for electricity are needed. ERCOT is working closely with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas to drive an energy market strategy that attracts reliable and cost-effective sources of power generation. Clary also shared the need for upgrades in the grid for distribution of power. Renewables need infrastructure for transporting the power they generate from more rural communities to the more densely populated energy-consuming regions in the state. “CoServ is fortunate to provide service to over 285,000 member/owners in one of the fastest growing regions the US. I appreciate the opportunity to share the challenges of maintaining a reliable electric grid with the members of the chamber.” said Clary.
Addressing challenges faced during Uri, the unprecedented winter storm of 2021, the panelists highlighted several main challenges. Two of note were a lack of weatherization as well as a natural gas shortage which impacted the power grid’s capacity to handle increased demand during the storm. Following Uri, a major focus of the legislature was offering improvements and solutions to key problems that needed resolution. In June 2021 ERCOT posted the “Roadmap to Improving Grid Reliability,” which details a variety of improvements to enhance the reliability and adequacy of the power grid.
ERCOT is acting in accordance with the reforms implemented in the past year as expected by the PUC, and the Texas state legislature. As a result, ERCOT is managing the grid more conservatively, and communicating to both the public and the market participants sooner than in the past.