Texas Electricity Grid ERCOT: The Texas Electrical Reliability Council urges conservation as heat wave increases demand

HOUSTON, Texas — With a severe heat wave across Texas driving a record spike in power demand, the Texas Electrical Reliability Council late Sunday sent a request that Texas cut back on energy use on Monday.

ERCOT, the state’s electric grid operator, has asked Texans to raise their thermostats and delay turning on major appliances between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday. ERCOT has also called on major electricity customers to reduce their electricity use.

Total projected power demand is expected to exceed 79 gigawatts on Monday, ERCOT said — which would set another record.

See related story: ERCOT issues appeal to keep business in Texas and Texas

The ERCOT statement said that no system-wide outage is expected at this time.

Low winds also make it difficult for the network to keep up with demand during hotter than usual temperatures in July. ERCOT said current forecasts show wind generation coming in at less than 10% of capacity on Monday.

Power grids must keep supply and demand in balance at all times. When the Texas network drops below its margin of safety from oversupply, the network operator begins taking extra precautions to avoid blackouts. The first precaution is to ask the public to reduce electricity use.

I ordered ERCOT from Texas in May To conserve energy during the heat wave that coincided with six outages at power plants.

Climate change has made Texas heat hotter and longer. Average daily minimum and maximum temperatures in Texas have increased by 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 125 years. The state just had the hottest December on record since 1889.

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Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner responded to ERCOT’s request late Sunday night with the following tweet. All city departments have been asked to prepare for the worst case scenario.

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