The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages this flow of electricity to millions of Texans by ensuring reliability of the grid through forecasting demand for power, balancing supply and demand for power, and managing emergencies such as outages or storms which could disrupt service. The grid is made up of three main parts: generation (the creation process), transmission (carrying electricity long distances), and distribution (converting high voltages to lower ones for homes and businesses).
ERCOT and it’s predecessors have been around for over 75 years. Among other things, it is responsible for ensuring that there is enough electricity available to meet demand. ERCOT operates the state’s electric grid and manages the electricity market.
ERCOT forecasts demand for power
ERCOT’s forecasting process begins by estimating the total demand for electricity, which is based on economic factors such as population growth, industrial activity, and weather. This data is then analyzed to create a power demand forecast for the next five years. The forecast takes into account generation resources that are available, scheduled outages, and expected transmission constraints.
ERCOT also uses a probabilistic model to predict peak demand. This model uses historical data to identify patterns in electricity use and then forecasts how much power will be needed during the highest-demand period of the year. ERCOT’s goal in using this process is to ensure power generation resources will be available to meet electric demand.
The forecast takes into account generation resources that are available, scheduled outages, and expected transmission constraints. ERCOT also uses a probabilistic model to predict peak demand which looks at historical data and identifies patterns in electricity use and then forecasts how much power will be needed during the highest-demand period of the year.
In addition to long term demand foresting, ERCOT also facilitates the day-ahead market for electricity.
ERCOT’s role in the day-ahead market
ERCOT operates the day-ahead market, which is where energy companies buy and sell electricity for the next day. The day-ahead market allows companies to plan for their energy needs and helps to ensure that there is enough electricity available to meet demand.
The day-ahead market is operated by ERCOT’s Market Operations team. The Market Operations team is responsible for ensuring that the market operates smoothly and fairly.
ERCOT’s goal is to ensure generation resources will be available to meet electric demand.
The ERCOT system operator uses real-time data from grid operators, other energy companies, local distribution companies (LDCs), and end-use customers to monitor how much electricity is being used on the grid. The system operators work with these groups to maintain the balance between electricity supply and demand, dispatching generation resources as needed to ensure that there is enough power available for everyone who needs it
Grid in emergencies
In the event of an emergency, ERCOT activated its Emergency Response Plan (ERP). The ERP is designed to ensure that there is enough generation available to meet demand. The plan includes procedures for restoring power, managing communications, and coordinating with other agencies.
ERCOT also has a Critical Infrastructure Protection Plan (CIPP) to protect the grid from physical and cyber threats. The CIPP identifies potential threats and develops security plans to address them. ERCOT’s goal is to maintain the reliable operation of the electric grid while protecting it from malicious attacks.
Renewable Energy Credit Program
ERCOT operates the Renewable Energy Credit (REC) program. The REC program provides financial incentives for generators of renewable energy to sell their electricity to ERCOT. This helps to increase the amount of renewable energy on the grid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The REC program is administered by the Texas Renewable Energy Credits (TREC) program. TREC is a partnership between ERCOT, the Texas Public Utilities Commission (PUC), and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). When you buy a renewable energy electricity plan in Texas, it is facilitated by the use of Renewable Energy Credits.
ERCOT’s Texas Cybersecurity Monitor Program
ERCOT is a part of the Texas Cybersecurity Monitor Program. The program is designed to protect the grid from cyber threats. ERCOT and the Department of Information Resources (DIR) work together to identify and respond to cyber threats.
The program is a part of the Texas Cybersecurity Framework. The framework was developed to help protect critical infrastructure from cyberattacks. ERCOT identified four strategic goals for the framework:
- Promoting a culture of cybersecurity within ERCOT and its stakeholders
- Working with partners, such as DIR and law enforcement, to protect the grid
- Ensuring ERCOT has compliance with all state and federal regulations
- Identifying new security technologies and best practices
ERCOT and The Battery Energy Storage initiative
ERCOT a part of the Battery Energy Storage initiative. The initiative is aimed at increasing the amount of storage on the grid. Storage can be used to improve the reliability of the grid, manage fluctuations in electricity supply and demand, and reduce emissions.
The Battery Energy Storage initiative is a partnership between ERCOT and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). ERCOT and EPRI are working together to develop standards for storage and to identify potential applications for storage. Large scale battery storage for the grid is seen as a key component of building a greener electricity grid.
ERCOT is governed by a Board of Directors. The Board is responsible for setting policies and making decisions that are in the best interests of ERCOT’s members. The Board also oversees the management of ERCOT and ensures that it operates in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
The Board is made up of A Chair, a Vice Chair, and 10 Board members. The directors are appointed by the Governor of Texas, the Texas Public Utilities Commission (PUC), and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
The Board meets quarterly to make decisions about policy, budget, and other issues. The Board also meets in public forums to gather input from stakeholders about current issues and to inform the public about ERCOT policies.
ERCOT Board of Directors
Chris Ekoh – Ex Officio
Brad Jones – Ex Officio
Peter Lake – Ex Officio (Texas PUC Chairman)
ERCOT receives input from numerous committees, subcommittees, and working groups. These include
- Technical Advisory Committee
- Protocol Revision Subcommittee
- Retail Market Subcommittee
- Retail Market Training Task Force
- Profiling Working Group
- Texas Standard Electronic Transaction Working Group
- Texas Data Transport MarkeTrak Systems Working Group
- Reliability and Operations Subcommittee
- Black Start Working Group
- Voltage Profile Working Group
- Steady State Working Group
- Dynamics Working Group
- Network Data Support Working Group
- Inverter-Based Resource Task Force
- Performance, Disturbance Compliance Working Group
- System Protection Working Group
- Planning Geomagnetic Disturbance Task Force
- Wholesale Market Subcommittee
- Congestion Management Working Group
- Wholesale Market Working Group
- Supply Analysis Working Group
- Metering Working Group
- Market Settlements Working Group
- Market Credit Working Group
- Demand Side Working Group
Planning Geomagnetic Disturbance Task Force
The ERCOT Planning Geomagnetic Disturbance Task Force is working to develop a plan to protect the grid from geomagnetic storms. A geomagnetic storm is a disturbance of the Earth’s magnetic field that can cause power outages and damage equipment.
The task force is made up of representatives from ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the PUC, and TCEQ. The task force is working to develop a plan that will help to protect the grid from geomagnetic storms. The task force will also develop standards for geomagnetic storm response.
ERCOT black start working group
The Black Start Working Group is working to develop a plan to restart the grid in the event of a power outage. A black start is the process of restarting the grid without relying on outside power.
Texas Data Transport MarketTrak Systems Working Group
The Texas Data Transport MarketTrak Systems Working Group is working to develop a plan for protecting electricity data. Market data is information needed by energy companies in order to buy and sell electricity.
Planning for peak demand
ERCOT works with stakeholders to develop a plan that addresses peak summer demand. The summer peak is the highest amount of electricity used in Texas during the summer months. ERCOT works with stakeholders to ensure there is enough generation, transmission, and distribution resources available to meet the growing needs of the population while still maintaining reliability.
Financial transactions in ERCOT
ERCOT provides a variety of services to the wholesale market. These services include financial and accounting services, market information services, and settlement services.
Financial and accounting services include billing and payments, settlement processing, and credit management. Market information services include real-time data, historical data, and market analysis. Settlement services include processing payments for electricity, capacity, and ancillary services.