Heat Wave Sets Records for Power Use
The primary manager of Texas’ electric power grid is waving the red warning flags again. They say the state could set another record for power usage this week as the heat wave continues, and people need to use less electricity to keep the entire system from breaking down.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas — ERCOT — says Saturday and Sunday were record-breaking days for weekend energy consumption, with 65,100 megawatts used on Saturday and 65,159 megawatts on Sunday.
The intense heat matched the state’s previous all-time record. ERCOT says there may be relief in sight by the end of the week, but Monday and Tuesday are going to be brutal.
On Saturday ERCOT came close to declaring a Level 1 emergency — something it’s done repeatedly this summer — where it starts to draw power from neighboring grids.
Three of the four mothballed power plants that ERCOT has brought back online for the summer crisis were in service this weekend, with Unit 2 of NRG Energy’s power plant in Deer Park coming online Saturday.
Early to late afternoon is the hottest part of the day, and an ERCOT spokeswoman says that’s why it’s “critical that customers conserve (power) between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. If every person in ERCOT does a little, it makes a huge difference.”