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Texas heat wave: Temperatures hit 6 power plants offline




The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) made the appeal in a statement on Friday, saying that high temperatures increased demand and led to six power plants being shut down. This resulted in the loss of around 2900 megawatts of electricity.

“We ask Texans to save power when they can by setting the thermostats to 78 degrees or higher and avoiding the use of large appliances (such as dishwashers, washers and dryers) during rush hour between 3pm and 8pm throughout the weekend,” said interim CEO Brad Jones in the statement.

Record high temperatures this weekend 'are difficult for our firefighters'

The appeal comes as record temperatures over most of the southern United States this weekend are expected to exacerbate an increasingly deep drought.

From Phoenix to Amarillo, Texas, record temperatures are expected to reach triple digits, with a chance for some parts of Texas to break daily records over the next seven days.

ERCOT was investigated last year after record cold temperatures in February caused the state’s highest demand for electricity and more than 200 people died during the power crisis, with the most common cause of death being hypothermia.
In March 2021, ERCOT’s President and CEO, Bill Magness, was fired after extensive power outages during a series of winter storms that left many residents in the dark for several days.

Now the heat is testing Texas’s power grid.

On Wednesday, the ERCOT power plant asked to postpone power outages and return from power outages that are already underway “to serve Texans this weekend.”

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Temperatures Saturday should be in the 90s across Texas – 10 to 15 degrees above average, according to CNN meteorologists. Temperatures from the mid-90s to the low 100s are expected on Sunday, with large parts of central and western Texas reaching 100 to 105 degrees – about 10 to 15 degrees above average.

ERCOT accounts for about 90% of the state’s electrical load, according to a statement from the organization.

The unusually warm weather is driving record demand across the state, the statement said.



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