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December 08, 2023

Meeting energy demand in Texas

Submitted by sempra_ian on
The fastest-growing state in the U.S. has been working to fulfill substantial energy demands by delivering diverse sources of energy

It’s the fastest-growing state in the U.S., currently topping at more than 30 million people, with some experts predicting that Texas could someday surpass California in population. With the growing population coupled with record-breaking temperatures this past summer, energy demand is expected only to increase in Texas, requiring industry leaders to harness the sun and wind to consistently deliver safe and reliable energy.

The Texas demand

The Texas Demographic Center, which is a part of the U.S. Bureau of the Census State Data Center Program, projects the state’s population to increase by nearly five million by 2030 to 34.8 million. By 2050, the number is expected to increase to 47.3 million people.

Serving this booming population has required Texas to add substantial amounts of new infrastructure, especially given the state’s climatic extremes and strong industrial sector. Abundant energy usage during the winter and average summer temperatures in excess of 90 degrees makes Texas one of the biggest consumers — and producers — of energy in America.

The Sempra Texas delivery

The electricity market in Texas currently hosts one of the most diverse portfolios of energy resources in the nation. Traditionally thought of as just an oil and gas producer, with 42% of the nation’s oil production and one fourth of the country’s natural gas production, Texas has also become a leading producer of renewable power in the U.S. Today, Texas accounts for nearly 30% of all non-hydroelectric renewable electricity generation in the country — leading the nation in wind power electricity and ranking second (behind California) in solar-powered electricity. The state is also rapidly growing its energy storage sector, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Delivering this diverse and increasingly clean set of energy resources to customers is the key job of Sempra Texas’ Oncor Electric Delivery Company, the largest transmission and distribution system in Texas based on the number of end-use customers and miles of transmission and distribution lines. By expanding its grid to both serve new Texans and deliver these increasingly diverse sources of power, Oncor has helped Texas through its extreme summer heatwave with 10 new peak demand records occurring on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) power grid. This included an all-time peak of 85,435 MW set on Aug. 10 — more than 5,000 MW higher than last year’s record peak, according to the EIA (for comparison, the all-time peak in California, the fifth largest economy in the world, is 52,061, according to the state’s Independent System Operator). Texas is truly an “all of the above” power market with wind, solar, natural gas, and energy storage all contributing significantly during record-setting, triple-digit temperature heatwaves.

The Oncor mission

Oncor aims to deliver safe and reliable energy to more than one-third of the Texas population by connecting various sources of energy to the power grid. Since 2007, Oncor has assiduously worked to construct new projects to support surging demand. The company aims to fulfill 100% of new renewable energy requests for interconnection each year.

Looking beyond renewable energy, in the third quarter of 2023 alone, Oncor connected approximately 20,000 new premises, bringing its year-to-date new premise count to approximately 57,000.

In addition:

  • As of Dec. 31, 2022, Oncor has interconnected an aggregate of 89 renewable generators to the ERCOT grid, representing over 18,600 MW of renewable generation capacity, about 12,800 MW of which (through 73 generators) had achieved commercial operation.

  • During 2022, Oncor interconnected over 3,000 MW of renewable generation capacity, nearly 1,000 MW had achieved commercial operation. The amount of renewable generation in commercial operation through Oncor interconnections represents approximately 25% of all ERCOT wind and solar generation in commercial operation as of Dec. 31, 2022.

  • As of Dec. 31, 2022, Oncor also had agreements in place with numerous generators — representing roughly 19,000 MW of new renewable and/or battery generation — which is expected to connect to Oncor facilities and achieve commercial operation over the next few years.

Sempra Texas is working tirelessly to adopt best practices and the latest technology. Along with connecting more solar and wind to the grid, Oncor is also investing in modern energy networks, such as pioneering smart grid technologies, which could help to ensure reliability even during extreme weather events.

Keep exploring innovation at Oncor.

 


 

This article contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions about the future, involve risks and uncertainties, and are not guarantees. Future results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement. These forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

In this article, forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as "believe," "expect," "intend," "anticipate," "contemplate," "plan," "estimate," "project," "forecast," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "can," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "in process," "construct," "develop," "opportunity," "initiative," "target," "outlook," "optimistic," "poised," "maintain," "continue," "progress," "advance," "goal," "aim," "commit," or similar expressions, or when we discuss our guidance, priorities, strategy, goals, vision, mission, opportunities, projections, intentions or expectations.

Factors, among others, that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement include: California wildfires, including potential liability for damages regardless of fault and any inability to recover all or a substantial portion of costs from insurance, the wildfire fund established by California Assembly Bill 1054, rates from customers or a combination thereof; decisions, investigations, inquiries, regulations, denials or revocations of permits, consents, approvals or other authorizations, renewals of franchises, and other actions by the (i) California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Comisión Reguladora de Energía, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Utility Commission of Texas, U.S. Internal Revenue Service and other governmental and regulatory bodies and (ii) U.S., Mexico and states, counties, cities and other jurisdictions therein and in other countries where we do business; the success of business development efforts, construction projects, acquisitions, divestitures and other significant transactions, including risks in (i) being able to make a final investment decision, (ii) completing construction projects or other transactions on schedule and budget, (iii) realizing anticipated benefits from any of these efforts if completed, and (iv) obtaining third-party consents and approvals; macroeconomic trends or other factors that could change our capital expenditure plans and their potential impact on rate base or other growth; litigation, arbitrations, property disputes and other proceedings, and changes to laws and regulations, including those related to tax and trade policy and the energy industry in Mexico; cybersecurity threats, including by state and state-sponsored actors, of ransomware or other attacks on our systems or the systems of third parties with which we conduct business, including the energy grid or other energy infrastructure, all of which continue to become more pronounced; the availability, uses, sufficiency, and cost of capital resources and our ability to borrow money or otherwise raise capital on favorable terms and meet our obligations, including due to (i) actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade our credit ratings or place those ratings on negative outlook, (ii) instability in the capital markets, or (iii) rising interest rates and inflation; failure of foreign governments, state-owned entities and our counterparties to honor their contracts and commitments; the impact on affordability of San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas Company’s (SoCalGas) customer rates and their cost of capital and on SDG&E’s, SoCalGas’ and Sempra Infrastructure’s ability to pass through higher costs to customers due to (i) volatility in inflation, interest rates and commodity prices, (ii) with respect to SDG&E’s and SoCalGas’ businesses, the cost of the clean energy transition in California, and (iii) with respect to Sempra Infrastructure’s business, volatility in foreign currency exchange rates; the impact of climate and sustainability policies, laws, rules, regulations, disclosures and trends, including actions to reduce or eliminate reliance on natural gas, increased uncertainty in the political or regulatory environment for California natural gas distribution companies, the risk of nonrecovery for stranded assets, and our ability to incorporate new technologies; weather, natural disasters, pandemics, accidents, equipment failures, explosions, terrorism, information system outages or other events that disrupt our operations, damage our facilities or systems, cause the release of harmful materials or fires or subject us to liability for damages, fines and penalties, some of which may not be recoverable through regulatory mechanisms or insurance or may impact our ability to obtain satisfactory levels of affordable insurance; the availability of electric power, natural gas and natural gas storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the transmission grid, pipeline system or limitations on the withdrawal of natural gas from storage facilities; Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC’s (Oncor) ability to reduce or eliminate its quarterly dividends due to regulatory and governance requirements and commitments, including by actions of Oncor’s independent directors or a minority member director; and other uncertainties, some of which are difficult to predict and beyond our control.

These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that Sempra has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC’s website, sec.gov, and on Sempra’s website. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements.

Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Infrastructure Partners, Sempra Texas, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor and Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.P.I. de C.V. (IEnova) are not the same companies as the California utilities, SDG&E or SoCalGas, and Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Infrastructure Partners, Sempra Texas, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor and IEnova are not regulated by the CPUC.