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The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has been able to meet record peak demand so far in June despite tight grid conditions last week. Yet, analysts and residents question whether the power grid reliability will stay the same during the hotter heat waves in August, after the disastrous events during the Texas Freeze in February.
Last week, ERCOT asked Texans to reduce power consumption for a week, citing potential record power consumption for June and forced generation outages as the reason for the request.
Two days after the appeal for power conservation, ERCOT said that “reliability of grid remains strong during record demand” and said its request to conserve energy during peak hours, between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., continued through June 18.
This week, peak demand in Texas broke the June record on Thursday, with peak demand up to 69,957 MW yesterday, higher than the previous June record of 69,943 MW from June 14 last week. Peak demand was expected to reach 71,086 MW on Friday, according to ERCOT.
The all-time high peak demand in Texas was recorded in August 2019, when it was 74,820 MW.
If there are no forced generation outages for the rest of the summer, ERCOT is expected to have enough margin on the power grid to meet expected peak demand of 77,144 MW, Reuters notes.
However, residents and analysts are concerned what would happen with the grid reliability during the August heatwaves in the state if ERCOT had to issue an appeal for electricity conservation as early as in the middle of June.
“The fact that the grid was barely able to eke by and satisfy what we had a week ago doesn’t bode well for how well it’s going to hold up if we get 10-degrees-hotter temperatures and correspondingly higher demand in August,” Dan Cohan, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University, told Houston Public Media’s environmental reporter Katie Watkins.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com