By Matthew Cappucci
Washington Post, Jul 11, 2022
A serious summer heat wave is baking Texas with record temperatures and high humidity. Heat advisories and excessive heat warnings blanket much of the Lone Star State, with the National Weather Service calling the conditions “extreme” and “dangerously hot.”
The statewide scorcher is enough to induce record high demand and tax the state’s beleaguered power grid, prompting the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to issue a public appeal for conservation during the hottest times of day.
“With extreme hot weather driving record power demand across Texas, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is issuing a Conservation Appeal, asking Texans and Texas businesses to voluntarily conserve electricity, Monday, July 11 between 2-8 p.m.,” the agency wrote on its website. “ERCOT also issued a Watch for a projected reserve capacity shortage from 2-8 p.m. At this time, no systemwide outages are expected.”
Between conventional electricity generation sources and installed wind and solar arrays, ERCOT is projecting that, between 2 and 3 p.m., the statewide grid will be able to generate 80,168 megawatts (MW). During the same window, demand is anticipated to reach 79,671 MW. In other words, expected demand is only 0.61 percent less than total electric generation capacity, leaving very little wiggle room on the grid.