Transmission system congestion is an issue that is plaguing our nation’s electric grid, and Texas/ERCOT is no exception. The Lonestar State is known for consuming the most energy of any state in the U.S., but it has also integrated the most renewable resources.

On June 28, renewable energy resource contribution reached a whopping 41.6% across ERCOT’s territory, primarily from solar and wind power at peak hours. During this time, electric demand was also setting a new high record in late June.

With this unprecedented amount of generation and load, the transmission infrastructure was expected to become congested and to struggle to keep up with the growing needs of the energy transition. The ERCOT board has noted that they expect “export constraints from the Panhandle, West Texas and areas of the Rio Grande Valley during high wind conditions” for the remainder of the summer. These constraints will lead to a high level of congestion, which will mean higher energy delivery costs.

According to data from ERCOT, the energy industry will spend $3.4 billion this year on building 470 miles of new transmission lines and upgrading 808 miles of existing lines. About $11.6 billion worth of transmission projects are in the planning stages or under construction. However, the speed of building and upgrading transmission infrastructure has not kept pace with consumers’ needs, and not enough actors in the ERCOT market have incentive to invest in transmission.

Electric Power Engineers’ Energy Market Analysis (EMA) team can help you navigate congestion in ERCOT and beyond. We can assist you to better understand if your proposed project could be subject to future curtailment. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, please contact us to schedule a consultation.