Heat Wave in Texas Sets New Peak Energy Demand

by | Jun 28, 2023

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Extreme temperatures in Texas have set a new peak record for electrical demand, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

ERCOT said demand on June 27, 2023, set a new all-time record of 80,828 megawatts. The record comes after ERCOT issued a weather alert for June 25-30 as temperatures soared across the state. The previous all-time record of 80,148 MW occurred on July 20, 2022.

The demand has been high for weeks as ERCOT said a previous record demand for the month of June high was set on June 19 with a peak of 79,304 MW. 

ERCOT’s website, which tracks current supply and demand, as well as grid conditions, predicts the peak demand record will again hit a new record on June 28, topping well over 81,000 megawatts, as of the time of this reporting.

However, ERCOT noted the grid conditions are expected to remain normal during the weather watch. The council manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers, representing about 90% of the state’s electrical load. 

“There is currently enough capacity to meet forecasted demand,” ERCOT said in its announcement. “Last year, ERCOT set 11 new peak demand records, surpassing 80 GWs for the first time ever.”

The notice comes nearly a year after ERCOT asked customers to voluntarily conserve power during high summer temperatures in order to conserve grid operations. Texans were asked to conserve power between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on July 11, 2022, as temperatures hit 100 degrees and above. 

Texas’ power grid has come under fire several times over the past several years for being unable to keep up with demand during extreme weather events. During a deep freeze in 2021, the state’s electrical grids went down for many Texans, leading to a power crisis that ultimately resulted in the deaths of 246 people. Following the crisis, six members of ERCOT’s board of directors resigned, the Texas Tribune reported last year. 

The state has a unique approach to energy as the only state in the country with its own grid.

With the most recent weather alert, ERCOT noted that customers do not need to take any action.

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