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Searing Heatwave Expected To Strain U.S. Grids

heat alert issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggests the U.S. grid is in for another strain this month.

The administration said the heat will settle in for a longer period in some parts of the country and expand in others, spanning the South-Central and Southeast United States.

Temperatures in some parts of the country could reach and exceed 110 F, the NOAA also said, adding that unusually warm Gulf of Mexico waters would also increase humidity in coastal states and reduce the extent of nighttime cooling.

The forecast suggests a significant increase in electricity demand for cooling across much of the United States, which will strain grids the way the Texas grid got strained earlier this summer when high temperatures came.

According to NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center, daily temperature records might get broken in California, Nevada, and Arizona this weekend, and the heat will extend to Texas and further along the Gulf Coast. It will also remain there for most of the current month and maybe even extend into August.

“The heat will be extremely dangerous and potentially deadly, due to the intensity, longevity and a relatively cool start to summer which may have limited the ability for people to acclimate to more typical hot summer weather in this region,” the Weather Prediction Center warned earlier this week, as cited by Axios.

Bloomberg notes that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas had reported peak demand of 80.8 GW for June 27, which was a record high. ERCOT expects a repeat of this peak this month as well.

Earlier in the year, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation warned that summer temperatures may again strain the Texas grid leading to possible outages. Separately, the NERC said that many parts of the U.S. risked blackouts due to the fact that hydrocarbon-fueled power generation capacity was being retired faster than alternative capacity was being added.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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