The Texas power grid operator is mostly holding up as energy use surpassed an all-time record amid sweltering temps in the Southwest.
Texas power grid operator ERCOT manages electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers and represents 90% of the state’s electric load, according to the company.
Temperatures in Texas this weekend reached 110+ degrees with the heat index.
According to the weather channel, there were some power outages in North Texas, but the power grid is able to hold up under the intense heat wave.
Bloomberg News reported “demand on the power grid topped 74.9 gigawatts at 4:50 p.m. local time, surpassing a record set in August 2019, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which runs the system.”
For reference, one gigawatt can provide energy to 200,000 homes.
ERCOT said while it can handle the record demand for the latest heat wave, Texans will pay DOUBLE the rates to stay cool.
According to so-called experts, the rare cold snap that hit Texas in February 2021 caused the storage levels of natural gas to drop to ‘mid-level’ – this drop in storage levels is now causing the energy rates to double.
More from Bloomberg News:
Electricity use soared to an all-time high in Texas amid a searing heat wave, topping levels last seen before the coronavirus pandemic.
The record underscores the searing heat and rampant population growth underway in Texas as tech, aerospace and manufacturing companies flock to the state to take advantage of low taxes and relatively cheap labor. It’s also a potentially grim harbinger of what’s to come this summer. While Texas regularly tops 100 degrees (38 Celsius), it’s early in the season for temperatures to be so extreme. The state had its second-hottest May on record, the National Centers for Environmental Information said Wednesday.
It’s particularly remarkable for the region to set a power-use record on a weekend, when electricity demand is typically lower because many office buildings and factories are closed.
Dallas was forecast to hit 105 on Sunday. Houston will be 100. And Midland will be 103, according to the National Weather Service.
Demand is forecast to peak Sunday shortly before 6 p.m. local time, at about 75 gigawatts.