AUSTIN — The operator of Texas’ electric grid on Monday called on the public to be more energy efficient as extreme heat could lead to power emergencies.
At 9 p.m., the Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued a watch Monday indicating that it predicted a shortfall in energy reserves “without a market solution.” Active Activities Message Published on the ERCOT website. ERCOT calls for voluntary energy savings.
ERCOT stopped short of mentioning the possibility of power outages and said “no system-wide outages are anticipated.” A press release.
The watch is a precursor to an “Energy Emergency Alert,” a more severe warning that indicates ERCOT may order large electricity users, such as manufacturing facilities or big box stores, to shut down or limit operations. Those alerts range from calls to safety to rolling blackouts.
At 9:30 p.m. Texas indicated that it could crush its all-time power demand by Monday afternoon with 80 gigawatts of use. ERCOT’s forecast for summer demand peaks in the Seasonal Readiness Report is higher than expected.
The tightest time is between 2pm and 3pm, when ERCOT predicts the wind farm will be generating only about 8% of its capacity. At that point, solar power will be producing at 81% capacity, but still a very small share of Texas’ total energy production.
Dispatchable power, consisting mainly of natural gas-fired power plants, can be relied upon to generate large amounts of electricity during those peak demand times.
The warning comes as temperatures in Dallas are expected to top 105 degrees on Monday. The National Weather Service has issued an extreme heat warning for the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which spans a large swath of the state. Isolated high temperatures could reach 112 degrees, the weather service said.
The heat wave is driving high electricity usage and could lead to tight power conditions throughout the week.
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