ERCOT LFLTF Meeting Summary – May 6, 2024

ERCOT LFLTF Meeting Summary – May 6, 2024

During the ERCOT LFLTF meeting, several updates and discussions took place regarding various projects and topics related to the transmission system. Here is a detailed summary of the updates and discussions:

Evan Neel provided an update on the large load queue and recent developments at ERCOT. A total of 684 MW was added to the queue since April Queue update, bringing the total to over 41 GW in new load. For the study year 2027, over the past 12 months, 10 GW of load had planning studies approved by ERCOT, 4GW of load is approved to energize and around 18GW under ERCOT review. The approved energized load includes 2,837 MW in load zone west and 1,642 MW in other load zones. Non-simultaneous peak consumption was observed at 2,902 MW, while simultaneous peak consumption was at 2,610 MW. Additionally, there was a curtailment of 1,300 MW during the solar eclipse, with 300 MW of ancillary services obligations held throughout the event. It was noted that ERCOT does not track interconnection requests specifically for data centers, Bitcoin mining, or hydrogen products, and load information is protected differently than generation information.

The next item on the agenda was a review of NPRRs, led by Sai Morty, Eric Goff, and Floyd Trefny. NPRR1188, which involves implementing nodal dispatch and energy settlement for controllable load resources (CLRs), was discussed. The initial comments raised concerns about the distinct treatment for co-located CLRs. These concerns were addressed by making language changes to provide equitable treatment to CLRs and to fully implement the changes. The discussion also included potential impacts on load zone pricing, existing hedges, and forward markets due to CLRs moving from load zone to nodal pricing. Legal research confirmed the implementation within commission rules, with no need for a rule change. The debate emphasized the long-term benefits and reliability improvements, although there was pushback on the four-year requirement for load behavior changes.

NPRR1203, concerning refundable deposits for large load interconnection studies, was then explored. Eric Goff discussed the proposed interconnection study fee and adjustments to accurately reflect costs. The discussion included changes in terminology related to the large load process and the fee assessment trigger. Feedback was sought to resolve outstanding issues, with Davida Dwyer providing input on ERCOT’s ability to charge only for services provided and the consideration of maintenance fees for tracking and reporting on the queue. The importance of accurately capturing hours spent on consultations and other non-study-related tasks was emphasized.

Floyd Trefny presented NPRR1226, which discussed the demand response monitor. Initially conceived as an internal ERCOT system, the monitor may become available on the ERCOT market systems. It would display aggregated responsive loads, including megawatts and corresponding price changes. Discussions included defining “load” in protocols, selecting loads for demand response, and publicly displaying the graph on the ERCOT system. Concerns about confidentiality and correct data use were raised, particularly for storage offering behavior and operational deployments. Suggestions included making the data available in CSV format with an extended archive and providing a clear statement about confidential information.

The final agenda item was the impact of large loads on ancillary services, presented by ERCOT staff. Ancillary services are procured by ERCOT in the day-ahead market to balance next-day supply and demand. Resources providing ancillary services include generation resources, controllable and non-controllable load resources, aggregate load resources, and batteries. Large loads can participate as controllable or non-controllable load resources, with less than 20% of operational large loads providing ancillary services at any given time. These loads independently respond to price signals for capacity and extreme weather events, which can increase net load variability and uncertainty, impacting ancillary services differently. ERCOT is considering including load behavior in forecasting to improve procurement accuracy, acknowledging challenges in forecasting price-sensitive demand despite having sophisticated methodologies. Additionally, Golden Spread Electric Cooperative is advancing a voluntary early curtailment load concept to prioritize load curtailment timing.

Overall, the meeting covered updates on the large load queue, NPRRs, demand response monitoring, and the impact of large loads on ancillary services. Discussions highlighted the complexities and considerations in managing load behaviors, interconnection studies, and ensuring the reliability and efficiency of the transmission system.