The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the state’s power grid and serves over 25 million customers, or about 90% of the population in Texas. The state is the largest electricity producer and consumer in the nation, and the tremendous growth in wind capacity also makes Texas the largest wind power producing state.
Created by the Center for Energy Studies’ Ken Medlock and Elsie Hung, the time-lapse videos below illustrate actual, daily electric generation by fuel in ERCOT in MWh since January 1, 2009. The stacked area chart represents the total generation by resource for each day in 15-minute intervals. The visualizations also include day-ahead load, or projected demand in MW beginning June 5, 2011. These videos were developed as a tool to provide insight into the Texas power grid and the development of its fuel mix.
The full time-series from January 1, 2009, to present runs about 25 minutes. Users can quickly pinpoint a specific date during the time frame or utilize the time stamps below to reference major events.
For convenience, we have also developed a version that concentrates the data into a 2.5-minute video to highlight the growth and evolution of the Texas fuel mix.
In addition, a composite, side-by-side time-lapse video of generation by fuel and power plant and customer outage map was created to shed some light on what transpired during the historic Texas freeze in February 2021.
We welcome any feedback or suggestions. Contact the authors at email@example.com.
Stay tuned for future CES research on Texas electricity on this page.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the state’s power grid and serves over 25 million customers, or about 90% of the population in Texas. The state is the largest electricity producer and consumer in the nation. The tremendous growth in wind capacity in Texas also makes it the largest wind power producing state. A significant fraction of power demand is met by natural gas. Today, natural gas-fired power plants produce about half of ERCOT’s total electricity, followed by wind (20%), coal (16%), and nuclear (10%). In contrast, in 2009, natural gas provided about 48% of ERCOT’s total electricity output while coal and nuclear supplied 35% and 10%, respectively. Wind only constituted 5% of the fuel mix that year.
It is also important to recognize the seasonal and daily volatility of electricity, especially in a system like ERCOT where intermittent renewables like wind and solar are becoming increasingly important.
This time-lapse videos above show the daily electric generation by fuel within ERCOT from January 1, 2009, to August 31, 2021, and will be updated quarterly. The chart displays the generation data at the 15-minute interval and is overlaid with the day ahead load forecast (projected demand) beginning June 5, 2011.
Generation resources include coal, natural gas combined cycle, all other natural gas, nuclear, petroleum, and renewables including hydro, wind, solar, and others, categorized by the legend.
We produced two versions of the time-lapse:
Below are the time stamps of major events impacting the ERCOT grid:
The data is publicly available on ERCOT’s website at https://www.ercot.com/gridinfo/generation.
Winter storm Uri struck in February 2021, causing historical, devastating impacts on the Texas power grid, managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). All types of power generating resources experienced outages and derates under extreme cold weather. At the peak of the storm on February 16, over 30% of ERCOT’s winter capacity was offline. ERCOT was forced to issue load shed orders to maintain system stability. This included long periods of extended blackouts across the state, leaving millions of customers in the dark and cold for days.
So let us travel back in time to look at what happened between February 10 and February 28, 2021.
This time-lapse video above shows a side-by-side visualization of ERCOT daily electricity generation by resource (left) and Texas hourly power plant outages and customer outages (right) during the February freeze of 2021.
The left-side chart includes generation by resource at the 15-minute interval and day-ahead load forecast (projected demand). The right-side map illustrates Texas power plant capacity outages at the facility level (bubbles) and customer outages at the county level (filled map in blue shades). Also included are crude oil (green lines) and natural gas (red lines) pipeline infrastructure as well as the ERCOT service area (black line).
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