ERCOT Congestion Management Zones
Electricity purchased for use in a particular geographical area is not necessarily generated there. Generators often are located near the fuel source; near bodies of water used for cooling; or in rural areas. And, in a market with varying prices, cheaper power may be purchased from a generator at some distance away from the user. Moving electricity across the grid from generation to end user often results in congestion — that is, the transmission lines cannot carry the amount of power being generated. The ERCOT grid is currently divided into five congestion management zones. The five congestion zones include:
- Houston Zone located in and around the Houston/Galveston area;
- North Zone located in and around the Dallas/Fort Worth area;
- Northeast Zone located in and around the Tyler/Longview area;
- South Zone located in and around the Austin area running south and west to the coast and the border including San Antonio, Laredo and Brownsville; and
- West Zone located in and around the Wichita Falls area running south and west to the Odessa/Midland area and the Big Bend area.
Source: The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas.