Texas

Texas power grid operator warns of tight supply Monday, asks for conservation

ERCOT warned that extreme heat and low wind power output could strain the grid Monday afternoon

Gabriel C. Pérez
Texas’ power grid operator is asking people to conserve electricity on Monday between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. as it forecasts record-high demand.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, says extreme high temperatures across the state, along with low wind power output, could strain the grid, possibly leading to an emergency situation.

The grid has already been under stress over the past week, as record-high temperatures have led to record energy consumption in Texas. The state set a new record for power demand on Friday, using an average of more than 78,000 megawatts over the course of an hour. The grid has continued to break records as unusually high temperatures have persisted since May.

“ERCOT continues to use all tools available to manage the grid effectively and reliably, including using reserve power and calling upon large electric customers who have volunteered to lower their energy use,” the grid operator said in a news release Sunday night.

ERCOT suggests turning up your thermostat one or two degrees and avoiding using large appliances between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday to help conserve electricity.

The request is precautionary at this point, but ERCOT warns that demand could deplete the grid’s reserves, forcing the agency to take emergency steps to balance supply and demand. That could include turning off power to large industrial power customers or, in the most extreme case, doing rolling blackouts.

Copyright 2022 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.

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