Texas power demand sets record during heat wave
Demand forecast for Monday shows another record could be set in Texas
HOUSTON – With temperatures at or above the century mark and the feels-like temperature well into the triple digits in Texas, people are cranking up the air conditioning to ward off the heat.
Most of Texas saw temperatures above 100 degrees Sunday as a heat wave gripped much of the south-central U.S. At the same time, the heat index peaked near 110 degrees for the eastern and southern parts of the state.
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As the heat set in, Texans sent their A/C units whirring. According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the agency responsible for managing the state’s power grid, demand for electricity peaked at 74,917 megawatts, breaking the previous demand record that was set in 2019.
ERCOT’s demand forecast for Monday showed demand peaking at 75,577 megawatts at about 6 p.m. Central. If that verifies, it would be a new record for demand.
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Officials at ERCOT said they expect to have sufficient power generation to meet the demand.
The Texas power grid came under scrutiny last year when a powerful winter storm sent temperatures tumbling. The bitter cold caused power generation equipment and natural gas lines to freeze. This resulted in a dramatic loss of available electricity and prompted blackouts that left people without power for days.
More than 200 people died during the storm.
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While the worst of the heat will begin shifting east of Texas early this week, more triple-digit heat is forecast to return by the end of the week.