Texas power use hits record for June, all-time peaks to come

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FILE PHOTO: Overhead power lines are seen during record-breaking temperatures in Houston, Texas

By Scott DiSavino

(Reuters) – Power demand in Texas broke the June record on Monday and will continue rising until it breaks the all-time high later this week as economic growth boosts overall usage and hot weather causes homes and businesses to crank up their air conditioners.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the grid for more than 26 million customers representing about 90% of the states’ power load, said it had enough resources available to meet forecast demand.

Extreme weather reminds Texans of the 2021 February freeze that left millions without power, water and heat for days during a deadly storm as ERCOT scrambled to prevent a grid collapse after an unusually large amount of generation was shut.

AccuWeather forecast high temperatures in Houston, the biggest city in Texas, would rise from the low 90s Fahrenheit (32.2 Celsius) early this week to 101 F on Saturday. That compares with a normal high in the city of 91 F for this time of year.

After setting a record high for May of 71,688 megawatts (MW) on May 31, ERCOT said demand rose to 72,386 MW on June 6, topping the prior June record of 70,257 MW in 2021.

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ERCOT forecast peak demand would keep rising this week to 75,858 MW on Tuesday, 75,868 MW on Wednesday, 76,323 MW on Thursday and 77,110 MW on Friday, topping the grid’s all-time high of 74,820 MW set in August 2019.

One megawatt can power around 1,000 U.S. homes on a typical day, but only about 200 homes on a hot summer day in Texas.

ERCOT forecast continued economic growth would boost peak demand to 77,317 MW this summer. The grid expects the addition of wind and solar plants over the past year increased the amount of power resources available this summer to 91,392 MW.

Graphic: Texas power demand to soar to record high this year Texas power demand to soar to record high this year – https://graphics.reuters.com/TEXAS-POWER/ERCOT/gkplgzymyvb/chart.png

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)