Heat wave to break power records in Texas and central US this week

By Scott DiSavino

(Reuters) – Energy demand in Texas and different U.S. central states have been on observe to interrupt information this week, with one area already posting a brand new excessive, as properties and companies crank up their air conditioners to flee one other brutal warmth wave transferring slowly throughout the nation.

Rising financial and inhabitants development has boosted electrical energy use in Solar Belt states like Texas and is predicted to drive total U.S. energy demand to report highs in 2024 and past.

The Southwest Energy Pool (SPP), which oversees the grid in elements of 15 states from North Dakota to New Mexico, stated it set an all-time excessive on Monday. Different areas have been predicted to set information as nicely.

The Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the grid for greater than 26 million clients representing about 90% of the state’s energy load, stated it has sufficient assets to fulfill hovering demand.

Texas residents have apprehensive about excessive climate since a lethal storm in February 2021 left thousands and thousands with out energy, water and warmth for days as ERCOT struggled to stop a grid collapse.

AccuWeather meteorologists forecast temperatures in Houston, the largest metropolis in Texas, would attain at the least 100 levels Fahrenheit (37.8 levels Celsius) most days by means of Aug. 31. That compares with a standard excessive of 95 F for this time of yr.

ERCOT forecast demand would attain 85,605 megawatts (MW) on Monday, which might be the grid’s eleventh all-time excessive to this point this summer season and prime its present report of 85,435 MW set on Aug. 10.

Even over the weekend – when demand normally declines as many companies shut – electrical energy use in ERCOT hit a preliminary estimate of 85,116 MW on Sunday, breaking the prior weekend report of 84,805 MW on Saturday.

One megawatt can energy round 1,000 U.S. properties on a typical day however solely about 200 properties on a scorching summer season day in Texas.

Regardless of this week’s forecast, next-day costs on the ERCOT North Hub, which incorporates Dallas, fell to a one-week low of $208 per megawatt hour for Monday, down from $343 for Friday. That compares with a median of $68 to this point this yr and a five-year (2018-2022) common of $66.


Energy demand was additionally anticipated to interrupt information within the U.S. central grids operated by the Midcontinent Impartial System Operator (MISO) and SPP.

MISO, which oversees the ability system in elements of 15 U.S. states from Minnesota to Louisiana, projected that utilization would attain 127,459 MW on Wednesday and 129,923 MW on Thursday. That may prime MISO’s present report of 127,100 MW set in July 2011, in keeping with the grid’s web site.

SPP stated utilization already hit 54,503 MW on Monday and projected it to achieve 56,393 MW later within the day, topping the grid’s prior excessive of 53,243 MW in July 2022.

“SPP expects to have sufficient producing capability to fulfill the demand, and whereas our assessments don’t increase reliability considerations, now we have instruments and procedures able to make adjustments as essential to responsibly and economically hold the lights on,” SPP spokesperson Meghan Sever stated in an e mail.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Modifying by Andy Sullivan)

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