Texas Electricity Usage Hits Record High on Economic Growth, Hot Weather


Overhead wires are seen during record-breaking temperatures in Houston, Texas, U.S., February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

to register

June 6 (Reuters) – Electricity demand in Texas is expected to break all-time records this week, well ahead of the hottest days of summer to test the resilience of the state’s power grid after problems earlier this year and on days last. long power failure during a deep freeze.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which runs the electric grid for most of the state, expects electricity demand to rise to an all-time record by Tuesday — and to surpass levels reached in August 2019.

Utilization is expected to reach 75,195 megawatts (MW) on June 7 due to expected high heat exceeding typical levels for this time of year. ERCOT, which serves more than 26 million Texas customers and supplies about 90% of the state’s electricity needs, said it has sufficient resources to meet projected needs.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

to register

“ERCOT weather-adjusted loads have been increasing rapidly since mid-2021,” said Morris Greenberg, senior manager North American Power Analysis at S&P Global Commodity Insights.

AccuWeather is forecasting high temperatures in Houston this week — into the upper 90s Fahrenheit, higher than normal — and will cause businesses and residents to turn to electricity as they turn up air conditioning.

Extreme weather conditions are increasingly challenging power grids in the United States, and regulators are already predicting record heat and drought this summer could lead to recurring power outages in several regions of the country. Continue reading

Much attention is focused on Texas, where power demands are increasing as the population has increased and after the state went several days without power during last February’s winter storm Uri. According to US Census data, Texas has been the third-fastest-growing state over the past decade, putting additional strain on the power grid.

The grid says the addition of wind and solar plants over the past year would increase the amount of energy resources available to 91,392 MW.

Even if ERCOT has enough resources to keep the lights on this summer, the grid’s power lines may not be able to transport all the energy from the point of generation to the point of consumption.

This so-called transmission backlog will drive up costs for consumers. During a heatwave in mid-May, ERCOT was forced to urge customers to save energy after several power plants unexpectedly shut down, causing real-time prices to briefly spike above $4,000 per megawatt hour (MWh). Continue reading

“Transmission congestion in the real-time market rose 46% in 2021 to a total of $2.1 billion,” said Potomac Economics, ERCOT’s independent market watchdog, in a May report, noting that more than $560 million -dollars of congestion costs caused during winter storm Uri.

Texas is the country’s largest energy producer, but also the largest energy consumer in the United States. The industrial sector accounts for 23% of the country’s industrial sector energy consumption, which is expected to increase due to drilling, refining and cryptocurrency mining, which is rapidly increasing demand.

One megawatt can power about 1,000 US homes on a typical day, but only about 200 homes on a hot summer day.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

to register

Additional reporting by Gary McWilliams in Houston; Editing by Diane Craft

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Comments are closed.