ERCOT: Peak-Hour Energy Demand Rising More Slowly

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(credit: Robert Sullivan/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: Robert Sullivan/AFP/Getty Images)

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AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW/AP) –– The operator of the electric distribution grid for most of Texas says demand for electric power isn’t growing as fast as previously thought – even during the hottest summer hours.

A new 10-year outlook released Friday by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas shows power reserves remaining below target levels by June 1. But they then are set to exceed reserve targets later in the summer, as well as in 2015 and 2016.

“We believe this new load forecast better reflects the expected growth in peak hour demand – that’s the demand we expect to see on the hottest afternoons of the summer.” said Warren Lasher, ERCOT director of System Planning.

A report last May had showed reserves levels failing to hit target levels this summer, then falling farther for 2015.

ERCOT said new power plants coming online by August will increase supply.

It also cited more-efficient power use by consumers and improvements to its load forecasting methodology as reasons for the rosier future power reserve picture

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 1080 KRLD contributed to this report.)

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