Brownouts Possible In Texas Under Extreme Scenarios This Summer ERCOT Says
With temperatures already hitting 90 degrees in some parts of the state, Texans are wondering if we are in for a long hot summer, and if so, will the lights and maybe more importantly, will the air conditioner stay on throughout the summer?
According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state's power grid should be fine this summer. But there could be some scenarios where things could change. ERCOT projects peak demand for the summer at 82,739 megawatts. In 2022, the Texas grid broke demand records 11 times during extreme heat days. During those times, demand topped out near 80,000 megawatts.
As the Dallas Morning News reports, the grid should remain fine unless extreme situations arise.
The forecast projects the lights will stay on as long as the grid does not experience a confluence of extreme heat, low renewable energy output and widespread outages at fossil fuel plants.
This could have major political implications at the state Capitol as lawmakers debate numerous proposals that could increase residents’ electric bills, use taxpayer dollars to build fossil fuel plants or both.
Last year, the grid saw several close calls that led ERCOT officials to call for people to conserve energy as power reserves plummeted. The grid operator’s 2022 Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy demand report undershot what the peak demand would be.
The all-time demand record briefly topped 80,000 megawatts was broken for the first time ever on July 20 last year. The seasonal report had estimated peak demand of 77,317 megawatts.
The Texas Legislature continues to debate ways of making sure the grid in Texas is even more reliable heading into the future including the possibility of subsidizing natural gas power plants.