Texas’ power grid operator ERCOT calls for energy conservation as extreme heat spikes electricity demand

Texas’ power grid operator ERCOT calls for energy conservation as extreme heat spikes electricity demand
Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) control room operator (dispatcher)
"Texas calls for energy conservation as extreme heat spikes electricity demand" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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Texas’ grid operator is asking residents to use less electricity between 4 and 8 p.m. Tuesday as the demand for power soars because high temperatures continue to bake the state.

Enough power should be available, but an atypical number of power plants that use coal or natural gas have been forced offline, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Wind turbines are also producing relatively less power compared with how they have performed during high summer demand in the past.

Forecasters for ERCOT, which manages the power supply for most of the state, expect energy demand could hit 81,230 megawatts at 4 p.m. This would surpass the record for highest energy use — 80,148 megawatts — set last July. ERCOT saw 11 new high-demand records last year.

To lower energy use, ERCOT recommends that residents raise their thermostats by a degree or two if safe, refrain from running large appliances such as the washing machine and dryer, and turn off and unplug lights and other appliances that aren’t needed.

Businesses can likewise turn off unneeded lights and equipment and shut off air conditioning units after business hours.

Government agencies such as city and county offices should also do what they can to reduce how much electricity they are using, the ERCOT notice said.

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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2023/06/20/ercot-texas-grid-heat/.

The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.

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