Full Title: A Case Study of Transmission Limits on Renewables Growth in Texas
Author(s): U.S. Energy Information Administration
Publisher(s): U.S. Energy Information Administration
Publication Date: July 27, 2023
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This paper explores the interplay between projected renewable energy additions onto the electricity grid in Texas operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the region’s existing electrical transmission network.
Without expanding ERCOT’s electrical transmission network and storage capacity, congestion and curtailments will rise. Curtailments are due to both inadequate transmission capacity and surplus generation during high availability periods of variable renewable generation.
Transmission system upgrades could reduce some curtailments that arise from transmission capacity limitations. But curtailments resulting from surplus generation cannot be mitigated by transmission system upgrades and storage. With the addition of variable renewable generating capacity, the EIA projects system energy prices to fall relative to current prices, with a significant increase in the number of hours where system energy is priced at $0 per megawatthour (MWh). Identifying the source of renewable curtailments is key to developing a long-term plan that seeks to maximize the value of renewable assets