Jun 15, 2023 - Climate

ERCOT predicts record demand for energy in Texas

A power generating station during a heat wave outside of Austin in 2022. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The state's electric grid operators issued a Weather Watch through June 21 and forecasted a record-high demand for energy in Texas as temperatures hover above 100° in much of the state.

Why it matters: A weather watch alert signals that higher demand is expected, but officials have not yet called on Texans to conserve energy or warned of the possibility of widespread power outages.

What's happening: Grid conditions remain normal as of Thursday morning, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) website.

  • ERCOT's six-day forecast predicts that peak demand could surpass 80,000 megawatts by Friday afternoon as homes and businesses rely on AC to stay cool.
  • High temperatures in Austin will hover above 100° at least through the weekend, according to National Weather Service meteorologists.

Zoom out: This likely won't be the last time Texans hear of increased demand this summer.

  • The grid operator projects having 97,000 megawatts of energy available during peak demand.

Of note: One megawatt is enough electricity to power about 200 homes on a summer day.

Flashback: Mass power outages during a February 2021 winter storm led to hundreds of deaths and property damage totaling nearly $200 billion, according to an after-action report.

  • ERCOT officials asked Texans to conserve energy last summer, when the grid set 11 all-time peak-demand records.

Be prepared: What to do if you lose power in the summer heat

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