Eyeing demand growth, ERCOT calls for energy investments across Texas

ERCOT now estimates an extra 40,000 megawatts of growth in demand for electricity by 2030 compared with last year’s outlook. Photo via Getty Images

With the Electric Reliability Council of Texas forecasting a big spike in demand for electricity over the next five to seven years, the operator of Texas’ massive power grid is embracing changes that it says will yield a “tremendous opportunity” for energy investments across the state.

The council, known as ERCOT, now estimates an extra 40,000 megawatts of growth in demand for electricity by 2030 compared with last year’s outlook. According to ERCOT data, 40,000 megawatts of electricity would power roughly 8 million Texas homes during peak demand.

ERCOT has been under intense scrutiny in the wake of recent summertime and wintertime debacles involving power emergencies or outages. The organization manages 90 percent of Texas’ power supply.

“As a result of Texas’ continued strong economic growth, new load is being added to the ERCOT system faster and in greater amounts than ever before,” Pablo Vegas, president and CEO of ERCOT, says in a news release. “As we develop and implement the tools provided by the prior two [legislative sessions], ERCOT is positioned to better plan for and meet the needs of our incredibly fast-growing state.”

Meeting the increased demand will create opportunities for energy investments in Texas, says ERCOT. These opportunities will undoubtedly lie in traditional energy production as well as in renewable energy segments such as solar, wind, and “green” hydrogen.

Some of the opportunities might be financed, at least in part, by the newly established Texas Energy Fund. The fund, which has been allotted $5 billion for 2025-26, will provide loans and grants for construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of power-generating facilities in Texas.

ERCOT is also working with partners to develop tools aimed at improving grid reliability and market efficiency.

ERCOT says changes in its operations that’ll be required to fulfill heightened demand for power will position the nonprofit organization “as a significant component of the economic engine driving the national economy.”

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A View From HETI

Discovery Green's Earth Day event generated more than 3,800 pounds of garbage — and over 90 percent of it was diverted from landfills. Photo courtesy of Discovery Green

Discovery Green celebrated Earth Day with a major milestone this year — achieving it’s Zero Waste goal.

The nonprofit, along with Citizens’ Environmental Coalition and Houston Public Works, are announced that the 2024 Green Mountain Energy Earth Day, which generated more than 3,800 pounds of garbage, diverted the majority of that waste from landfills. "Zero Waste," as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency, is successfully diverting at least 90 percent of waste from the landfill.

On Earth Day, Discovery Green composted 2,200 pounds of waste and recycled 1,300 pounds of trash.

“Part of Discovery Green Conservancy’s mission is to serve as a village green for our city and be a source of health and happiness for all. Our goal is to sustain an exceptional environment for nature and people,” Discover Green President Kathryn Lott says in a news release. “We are beyond thrilled to have achieved Zero Waste certification.”

The achievement was made possible by volunteers from the University of Houston – Downtown.

Steve Stelzer, president of Citizens’ Environmental Coalition’s board of directors, acknowledged how rare the achievement is in a public space in a major city like Houston.

“Discovery Green Conservancy stepped up and made a commitment to weigh, measure and record everything. They should be congratulated to have done this at this scale,” Stelzer adds. “The Conservancy said they were going to do it and they did. It’s an amazing accomplishment.”

The 2024 event included:

  • 31,000 visitors in attendance
  • 60 + exhibitors
  • 100 + volunteers
  • 12 artists
    • 9 chalk artists
    • Donkeeboy and Donkeemom
    • Mark Bradford
  • 25 Mark Bradford artworks made of scrap presented in partnership with Houston First
  • 4 short films shown
  • 3,836.7 pounds of waste collected during Green Mountain Energy Earth Day

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