ERCOT urges Texans to reduce weekend electricity use

The state electric grid operator is asking Texans to save energy this weekend, after six generating plants were shut down on Friday in unusually hot weather.

Thermostats should be set at 78 degrees or higher, and people should avoid “use of major appliances”, such as dishwashers, washers and dryers, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. until Sunday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said in a statement. was released shortly after 5 p.m. Friday.

“This afternoon, six power generation facilities shut down, resulting in the loss of approximately 2,900 (megawatts) of electricity,” ERCOT Acting CEO Brad Jones said in the statement. “Right now, all available reserve generation resources are working.”

After:Could this happen again? Winter to test Texas power grid reforms after February disaster

After:‘Crushing, cascading impacts on community’: Report highlights Austin’s failures during freeze

Jones said unusually warm weather for May is triggering record-breaking electricity demand across the state.

Temperatures are expected to approach 100 degrees in parts of Texas over the weekend. In the Austin area, temperatures are expected to be in the mid to high 90s.

One megawatt of electricity is enough to power about 200 homes on a hot day. This means that the 2,900 megawatts that have been disconnected are enough to power around 580,000 homes.

In a Twitter post earlier Friday, Governor Greg Abbott said he had met with officials who oversee the grid. “We continue to work closely together to ensure that the Texas electric grid remains reliable and meets the needs of Texans,” Abbott said in the tweet.

Abbott and other state leaders attempted to bolster the state’s power grid after it catastrophically failed during a severe winter freeze in February 2021. Widespread power outages resulting from that disaster left hundreds dead. and billions of dollars in property damage.

Ahead of last weekend, ERCOT asked power plants to postpone scheduled maintenance shutdowns and lift ongoing shutdowns due to warmer than normal May temperatures. At the time, however, he argued that Texas would have enough electricity to meet peak demand.

Comments are closed.