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Texas power use to hit record high on economic growth, hot weather -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Overhead power lines can be seen in record breaking temperatures at Houston, Texas (U.S.A.), February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

By Scott DiSavino

(Reuters] – Texas power demand will surpass its all-time high this week. It is far more than the hottest days in summer. The record testifies to the resilience and reliability of Texas’s grid, which was affected by issues this year as well as last year’s prolonged blackout due to deep freeze.

Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the grid in Texas for the majority of its residents, anticipates that power demand will surpass August 2019’s record levels by Tuesday.

The expected heat levels that are above average for this season will cause the usage to exceed 75,195 megawatts. ERCOT serves over 26 million Texas residents and covers about 90% of Texas’s electricity demand. It said that it had enough resources to fulfill forecast demand.

“ERCOT weather-adjusted loads have been increasing rapidly since mid-2021,” said Morris Greenberg, senior manager North American power analysis at S&P Global (NYSE:) Commodity Insights.

AccuWeather forecasts high temperatures for Houston this week, reaching the upper 90s Fahrenheit. This will cause residents and businesses to increase power consumption as they turn up their air conditioners.

Extreme weather has been a growing problem for power grids across America, and regulators have already predicted that extreme heat and drought will cause blackouts in some areas.

Texas has been the center of attention, with its rising power demand as well as an increase in population. Texas also suffered several days without power due to Winter Storm Uri. According to U.S. Census data Texas was third in population growth over the past decade. This puts more strain on the grid.

According to the grid, the increase in wind power and solar energy over the last year will boost available power resources by 91.392 MW.

ERCOT might have sufficient resources to maintain power supply this summer but it may be impossible for the grid to transport all of the energy it generates to its destination.

Transmission congestion is a factor that will increase consumers’ costs. ERCOT had to remind customers in May to save energy during a heatwave. Several power plants were shut down unexpectedly. This caused real-time prices for electricity to spike to $4,000/MWh (more than $4,000.

Potomac Economics (ERCOT’s Independent Market Monitor) reported that “transmission congestion in real-time markets was up 46% by 2021,” and $2.1 billion in congestion costs. The report was published in May. More than $560 millions of congestion cost came from Winter Storm Uri.

Texas is not only the United States’ largest energy producer but it also has the highest energy consumption. Texas’ industrial sector contributes 23% to the nation’s total industrial sector energy usage. The demand for this sector will continue to rise due to refining, drilling and mining crypto-currency.

On a normal day around 1000 homes can be powered by one megawatt, and only 200 on hot summer days.