HomeBusinessTexas energy use hits record high as temperatures soar

Texas energy use hits record high as temperatures soar

Overhead power lines are seen during record temperatures in Houston, Texas, U.S., February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

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June 6 (Reuters) – Power demand in Texas is expected to hit an all-time high this week, testing the resilience of the grid after generation issues this year and a multi-day power outage during a deep freeze in 2021 .

Extreme weather is increasingly straining power grids across the United States, and regulators predict that record-breaking heat and drought this summer could cause power outages in several regions. Read more

Texas is the most watched state among energy analysts given its unique setup and high demand. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the grid for most of the state, expects electricity demand to hit an all-time high on Tuesday – surpassing levels reached in August 2019.

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The state is the country’s largest energy producer and largest consumer. Its network is largely isolated from the rest of the United States to avoid certain federal regulations, which prevents it from tapping into other US networks in an emergency. The state endured several days without power during winter storm Uri in February 2021.

ERCOT said it has enough resources to meet expected demand, but has already encountered problems this year.

During a mini-heat wave in mid-May, ERCOT was forced to ask its customers to save energy after several power stations unexpectedly shut down, causing prices to briefly spike in real time at more than $4,000 per megawatt hour (MWh), compared to an average of $60. This year. Read more

Even if ERCOT has enough resources to keep the lights on this summer, grid power lines may not be able to move all the energy from where it is generated to where it is consumed, which would increase costs for consumers.

“Transmission congestion in the real-time market grew 46% in 2021, totaling $2.1 billion,” Potomac Economics, ERCOT’s Independent Market Monitor, said in a report. in May. When this congestion occurs, it raises prices for buyers who need to source electricity. Over $560 million in congestion cost was generated during Winter Storm Uri.

AccuWeather predicts temperatures in Houston will remain in the 90s Fahrenheit all week, hitting 101F (38.3C) on Saturday, 10F above normal.

ERCOT expects power consumption to reach 77,544 megawatts on Tuesday, surpassing the all-time grid record of 74,820 MW set in August 2019. read more

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According to ERCOT, the addition of wind and solar power plants over the past year is expected to increase available energy resources to 91,392 MW. One megawatt can power about 1,000 American homes on a typical day, but only about 200 on a hot summer day.

Electricity demand is rising, with Texas being the third fastest growing state in the past decade, according to US Census data. ERCOT serves more than 26 million Texas customers, supplying approximately 90% of the state’s electricity demand.

The state’s industrial sector accounts for 23% of industrial sector energy consumption nationwide, which is expected to increase due to drilling, refining and cryptocurrency mining, Greenberg said.

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Reporting by Scott DiSavino Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and John Stonestreet

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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