Texas Power Demand Could Hit Record Tuesday Amid Heat Wave
Temperatures across Texas will approach 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) through Wednesday and could send power demand to record highs thanks to residential and commercial buildings cranking up their air conditioners to escape the heat, according to Bloomberg.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates nearly all the state’s grid, said power demand would reach an all-time high today of 75,978 megawatts by 6 pm local time. The last time power demand spiked to near these levels was August 2019.
ERCOT’s spokeswoman Leslie Sopko reassured customers the state’s grid operator has enough power generation sources to fulfill demand during this multi-day heat wave.
AccuWeather models show temperatures across the Houston Metro will reach the upper 90s Fahrenheit (35 Celsius) through Wednesday. Max temperature highs for the state show after the 25th of this month, some cooling will occur.
On Monday, ERCOT reported the grid was operating without issue at 76,500 megawatts (MW) available to meet customer demands. Earlier this year, the grid nearly collapsed under extreme stress following a devastating cold snap that left millions of people without power for close to a week. In June, the grid was tested again with a heat wave threatened blackouts during a period when fossil-fuel power generation plants on the grid went down for repair.
Real-time power prices on ERCOT only reached $30s per megawatt-hour (MWh) on Monday. This is below the $188/MWh average in 2021 at the ERCOT North hub.
With another scorching hot day ahead, ERCOT reassures customers there will be enough supply on the grid to meet demand. If not, power prices will surge.