Texas power demand could exceed supply this afternoon, ERCOT forecasts

The previous all-time record for power demand was set on Monday, and some still have lingering memories of the grid's collapse during Winter Storm Uri.

click to enlarge Texas' power grid is again under strain as the state deals with soaring summer temperatures and rapi population growth. - COURTESY PHOTO / ERCOT
Courtesy Photo / ERCOT
Texas' power grid is again under strain as the state deals with soaring summer temperatures and rapi population growth.
Texas' nonprofit grid operator may need to tap into power reserves and implement emergency energy-saving measures this afternoon due to record demand, according to forecasts supplied on its website.

With temperatures across the state in the high 90s and expected to rise, power demand could exceed supply starting at around 3 p.m. this afternoon, according to the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas' Supply and Demand Forecast. Peak demand is expected to hit 77,947 megawatts — an all-time record — around 5 p.m.

The state's previous all-time record, 75,080 megawatts, was set Monday, the Express-News reports.

The ability of Texas' power grid — which stands alone from the rest of the nation — to keep up with energy demand has again come into question due to unseasonably high temperatures and the state's rapid population growth. ERCOT didn't expect to reach the current level of demand until August, according to the Express-News.

The grid cratered during February 2021's Winter Storm Uri, cutting off power to millions of Texans and resulting in hundreds of deaths. While the Texas Legislature passed new legislation in response, experts have warned they didn't go far enough to correct deep-seated problems or enact regulations with adequate enforcement.

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