Texans Asked To Reduce Power Usage Amid Brutal Heat

The Texas Press reports:

Both the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas are urging residents and businesses to voluntarily reduce electricity use as temperatures soar above 100 degrees over much of the state.

Temperatures set record highs for June in several Texas cities: 111 degrees in Junction, 115 in Laredo, and 113 in Del Rio. The heat wave stretches from the Pecos River Valley in the west to the Rio Grande in the south to the Pineywoods in the east.

State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon pointed to several factors, including near-record temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico, a high-pressure system trapping the heat over the state, and climate change.

Reuters reports:

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said power use reached a preliminary 80,828 megawatts (MW) at 6 p.m. CST, topping the grid’s previous record of 80,148 MW set on July 20, 2022.

ERCOT had forecast demand would set records on several prior days since mid-June but it did not do so until Tuesday, in part because consumers heeded the grid operator’s June 20th call to conserve energy.

Extreme weather was a reminder of the 2021 February freeze that left millions of Texans without power, water and heat for days during a deadly storm as ERCOT scrambled to prevent a grid collapse after an unusually large amount of generation shut.