ERCOT urges Texans to conserve power as Texas battles a massive heatwave

ERCOT urges Texans to conserve power as Texas battles a massive heatwave
Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) control room operator (dispatcher)
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Texas is being slammed with a major heatwave. Weather.com’s forecast for Dallas, for example, includes afternoon highs over 100F for Monday, July 11 and every day after that all the way through July 25 — while the San Antonio forecast includes highs over 100F every day until July 19. And in response to the heatwave, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is urging Texans to voluntarily conserve energy on July 11 from 2-8 PM.

KENS-TV Channel 5, a CBS-affiliated station in San Antonio, reports, “ERCOT also issued a watch for a ‘projected reserve capacity shortage’ during that timeframe. ERCOT said it does not anticipate system-wide outages.”

According to KENS, ERCOT — which operates Texas’ power grid — “This appeal comes during a time that the ERCOT is dealing with a high demand for energy from across the state. On Saturday, (July 9), the peak demand landed at about 77,532 megawatts. On Friday, (July 8), which was the hottest day of the year so far, there was an all-time demand record of 78,418 megawatts.”

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KENS reports that ERCOT “suggests Texans conserve electricity by raising thermostats to 78 degrees and postponing using large appliances — dishwashers, laundry machines, etc. — during peak afternoon hours.”

Texas was also experiencing severe heat in June. Dallas' WFAA-TV reported

The vulnerability of Texas’ power grid was painfully obvious in February 2021, when the Lone Star State was pounded with unusually cold temperatures and millions of Texans lost power. Some Texans literally froze to death in their homes when they no longer had heat and were facing snow, ice and freezing temperatures.

Both extremes — bitter cold in February 2021 and severe heat in July 2021 — underscore the dangers of climate change. Although Texas is known for hot summers, climate change is, according to scientists, making severe weather events more frequent. This means everything from more heatwaves, droughts, hurricanes, tornados and flooding during the summer months to severe snowstorms in the winter.

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