ERCOT Asks Texans to Reduce Electric Use
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking Texans to reduce electric use as much as possible through Friday June 18.
In a statement posted on its website, ERCOT warned that a significant number of forced generation outages, combined with potential record electric use for the month of June, has resulted in tight grid conditions. Generator owners have reported approximately 11,000 megawatts (MW) of generation is on forced outage for repairs, according to ERCOT, which outlined that the number of outages should decrease throughout the week.
The summer Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy shows that a typical range of thermal generation outages on hot summer days is around 3,600 MW. The peak demand record for June is 69,123 MW, which was set on June 27, 2018, between 4pm and 5pm, ERCOT highlighted. One MW typically powers around 200 homes on a summer day.
“Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher – every degree of cooling increases your energy use by six to eight percent,” ERCOT said in the statement.
“Turn off lights and pool pumps and avoid using large appliances like ovens, washing machines and dryers. If you don’t need something – we are asking you to turn it off and unplug it, if possible,” ERCOT added.
Woody Rickerson, ERCOT’s vice president of grid planning and operations, said the group will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service. “This is unusual for this early in the summer season,” Rickerson added.
Last month, ERCOT announced that it was anticipating record breaking electric demand this summer due to expected hot and dry conditions and continued economic and population growth throughout the region. Back in February, ERCOT entered emergency conditions and initiated rotating outages in the face of extreme weather conditions.
ERCOT manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers, which represents about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. The non-profit organization schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 710+ generation units. It is governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature.
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