August 24 (Reuters) – Texas power grid operator predicted demand to reach a record high on Tuesday as homes and businesses turn on air conditioners to flee another heat wave.
The grid, however, also predicted that energy use would reach that level on Monday, only to remove that prospect, as colder weather reduced peaks. Read more
The United States has been plagued by extreme weather this year, including a freeze in Texas that cut off energy to millions of people in February and registered heat in the Pacific Northwest this summer. Read more
Temperatures in Houston, Texas ’largest city by population, will reach 90 Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) every day from August 22-25, according to AccuWeather. This compares to a normal high in the city of 94 F (34 C) at this time of year.
The Texas Electrical Reliability Council (ERCOT), which operates most of the state’s power grid, projected power consumption to reach 75,104 megawatts (MW) on Tuesday, surpassing the all-time high of the state’s power grid. 74,820 MW established in August 2019.
One megawatt can power around 200 homes on a hot summer day.
So far on Tuesday, ERCOT said the network was operating normally and with enough supply to meet current demand.
Extreme weather reminds jeans of the February freeze that left millions without electricity, water and heat for days during a deadly storm as ERCOT pulled out to prevent a network collapse after closing an unusually large amount of generation.
Despite the heat, maximum power at the ERCOT North center, which includes Dallas, was trading at just $ 52 per megawatt hour (MWh) on Tuesday.
This is well below the $ 187 / MWh average seen so far in 2021 mainly due to price rises of more than $ 8,000 during the February freeze, and compares to the 2020 average of $ 26 and an average five-year (2016-2020) $ 33.
Reports by Scott DiSavino; Edited by Bernadette Baum
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