Hot weather, high demand, and generation outages have ERCOT asking Texans to conserve electricity now through Friday, June 18.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s power grid, said power generator owners are reporting about 11,000 megawatts of generation on forced outage for repairs. Of that, 8,000 megawatts are from thermal sources such as natural gas and coal-fire plants and the remaining 3,000 megawatts are from intermittent resources such as solar and wind.
A typical range for thermal generation outages on hot, summer days is about 3,600 megawatts.
This comes at a time when the state is edging toward a peak demand record for June. ERCOT estimates that the Monday, June 14, peak load could exceed 73,000 megawatts. The peak demand record for June is 69,123 megawatts set on June 27, 2018, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
A megawatt typically powers about 200 homes on a summer day.
“We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service,” said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT vice president of Grid Planning and Operations. “This is unusual for this early in the summer season.”
According to generation owners, the number of units out of service should decrease throughout the week.
ERCOT officials said wind energy for Monday, June 14, is expected to be 3,500-6,000 megawatts between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., which is roughly 1,500 megawatts lower than what is typically available for peak conditions.
Wind output is expected to increase throughout the week.
ERCOT recommends people take the following steps to reduce electricity use:
- Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher. Every degree of cooling increases your energy use by 6-8 percent.
- Turn off lights and pool pumps and avoid using large appliances such as ovens, washing machines, and dryers.
- If you don’t need something, turn it off and unplug it if possible.