For the second time this week, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas is asking residents to voluntarily conserve electricity from 2-9 p.m. Wednesday as extreme hot weather continues to drive record power demand.
No system-wide outages are expected, but Wednesday’s weather conditions are expected to be similar to those on Monday, when ERCOT issued another conservation appeal and Texans and businesses reduced their energy use by 500 MWs. Such appeals are issued when projected energy reserves may fall below 2300 MWs for at least half an hour, and they have been issued about 50 times since 2008, according to the ERCOT news release.
According to the Public Utility Commission, ways to reduce electricity use during peak times include turning up your thermostat a degree or two and postponing running major appliances or pool pumps during the requested timeframe.
Factors driving the need for conservation by Texas energy customers, according to ERCOT:
- Record high electric demand. The heat wave that has settled on Texas and much of the central United States is driving increased electric use. Other grid operators are operating under similar conservative operations programs as ERCOT due to the heatwave.
- Low wind. Wind generation is currently generating less than what is historically generated in this time period.
- Forced thermal outages. The number of forced outages in thermal generation exceeds ERCOT forecasts.
- Solar. Developing cloud cover in West Texas has reduced the amount of solar generation.