Texas’ power grid this week broke another record as homes and businesses keep the ACs running to fight a blazing heat wave over the Lone Star State.
On Monday, Texas’ peak power demand was more than 76,600 megawatts, breaking last week’s record of more than 75,000 megawatts.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates Texas’ power grid for more than 26 million customers – or about 90% of the state’s power load – says it still has enough spare capacity to meet growing demand. It had plenty of reserve power to handle the record demand just over a week ago.
Records are likely to continue to be broken this week with AccuWeather predicting temperatures of the top 100 degrees this week.
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Demand is also likely to increase amid the general economic and population growth in Texas. ERCOT expects that new wind and solar power plants added over the past year will increase resources this summer to more than 91,300 megawatts. Texas produces more natural gas than any other state, according to the EIA, and has also responded to the historic 2021 freeze by adding natural gas and renewable power generation capacity.
Electricity prices at the ERCOT North Hub – which includes Dallas – fell to a two-week low of $ 81 per megawatt hour on Tuesday – down from $ 100 on Friday, Reuters reported.
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One megawatt can provide power to around 1,000 American homes on a “typical day.” But that number drops to around 200 on hot summer days in Texas.