Generating capacity adequate next year

TEXAS - Texas should have an adequate reserve of electricity generation capacity in 2008 and an improved outlook through 2013 because of the addition of new coal-fired and gas-fired plants, the operator of the state's biggest electricity grid said.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees the grid that serves about 80 percent of the state, issued the new estimates in an update to its May forecast. That report had anticipated the state's reserve - the surplus of generating capacity over expected consumption - to barely meet the desired 12.5 percent margin in 2008 and to slip well below it in the subsequent years.

ERCOT said the state should have 72,416 megawatts of generating capacity in 2008, compared with 64,010 megawatts in demand, for a reserve of 13.1 percent. That's expected to dip to 12.1 percent in 2009 as demand growth is expected to outstrip the addition of nearly 1,400 megawatts of new capacity that year.

The gains for 2009 and 2010 are principally from three new coal-fired units under construction by Luminant, formerly TXU, which were awaiting air permits from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in May and were not counted by ERCOT.

Those plan s were granted their permits and will add 2,291 megawatts of capacity in 2009 and 2010, ERCOT said. ERCOT also said 893 megawatts of new capacity are planned in 2008 but don't qualify to be counted in its current outlook. Additionally, more than 4,400 megawatts of generating capacity from mothballed plants could be used.


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