As extreme hot weather continues driving record power demand across Texas, as a result, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas is issuing a Conservation Appeal from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. today. ERCOT is asking Texans and businesses to voluntarily conserve electricity during this time. Currently, no system-wide outages are expected.
Today’s conditions are expected to be similar to those experienced on Monday, July 11. ERCOT says on that day, Texans and businesses responded by voluntarily conserving electricity and helping ERCOT successfully meet record power demand by reducing their energy use by 500 MWs.
In a news release, ERCOT said:
Conservation is a reliability tool ERCOT has deployed more than four dozen times since 2008 to successfully manage grid operations. This notification is issued when projected reserves may fall below 2300 MW for 30 minutes or more.
ERCOT encourages all electric customers to visit the Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) Power to Save or their electric provider’s websites to get important conservation tips. According to the PUC, ways to reduce electricity use during peak times include turning up your thermostat a degree or two, if comfortable, and postponing running major appliances or pool pumps during the requested timeframe.
ERCOT continues to use all tools available to manage the grid effectively and reliably, including using reserve power and calling upon large electric customers who have volunteered to lower their energy use.
ERCOT emphasizes that the call for conservation is limited to the hours of 2-8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13.
Factors driving the need for this important action by customers:
- 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.