ERCOT Asks Texans To Reduce Power Use

An Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) control room operator is seen in this October 2012 photo. (Photo courtesy of Dpysh w

The Electric Reliability Council asked Texans to use less power on Monday due to the high demand for electricity caused by the heat wave. ERCOT is asking Texans to lower their electricity usage between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday. This includes turning up thermostats and postponing running major appliances.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is predicting that the demand for power will surpass 79 gigawatts on Monday, setting a new record.

The grid is having a hard time meeting demand because of low winds and hotter-than-usual temperatures in July. According to ERCOT, wind generation is projected to be below 10% of capacity on Monday.

The grid operator in Texas takes precautions to avoid blackouts when the grid falls below its safety margin of excess supply. The first precaution is to ask the public to cut back electricity usage.

ERCOT encouraged Texans to conserve power in May during a heat wave that corresponded with six power plant outages.

Climate change has increased the average daily minimum and maximum temperatures in Texas by 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 125 years, resulting in the state’s hottest December on record since 1889.

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