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News > U.S.

Texans Asked To Reduce Power Use as Heat Wave Continues

  • Very high temperatures in Texas

    Very high temperatures in Texas | Photo: National Weather Service Austin/San Antonio

Published 11 July 2022

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) on Monday asked residents and businesses to reduce their power use as the heat index exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in about half of the south-central U.S. state.

As of Monday afternoon, the ERCOT website twice forecasts significant generation losses though it said no rolling blackouts were expected this week.
At 2 p.m. Monday Central Time, the regulator, which manages 90 percent of the state's power grid, shifted from "normal conditions" to "conservation alert, please reduce power use" as the load reached 76,499 megawatts.

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The ERCOT forecast demand in Texas to peak at 79,671 megawatts, just short of the 80,168 megawatts that will be available. It warned that if demand spiked more than forecast, there would be "no market solution."
Thermostats should be turned up at least one degree Fahrenheit, and major appliances should not be used from 2 to 8 p.m. Monday Central time, according to the alert.
The alert is one step before Energy Emergency Level 1, allowing the regulator to tap electricity from other grids nearby when reserves are dangerously low, local media reported. If the situation worsens, ERCOT can order transmission companies to cut off power to industrial and residential customers.
This heat wave began more than a week ago and is still going strong, challenging the state's power grid. The near-record temperatures in much of Texas have forced various outdoor events to be either delayed or canceled over safety concerns.
It's Texas' fourth heat wave of the season, a hot streak that started impacting Texans way before the official start of summer, said a CNN report.
"I can say that so far, we have been having one of our hottest summers on record," John Neilson-Gammon, a state climatologist, told CNN.

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