Heatwave in Texas: Temperatures paralyze 6 power plants

Heatwave in Texas: Temperatures paralyze 6 power plants

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) appealed in a statement Friday, saying rising temperatures increased demand and caused six power generation plants to go offline. As a result, around 2,900 megawatts of electricity were lost.

“We are asking Texans to conserve electricity when they can by setting their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher and by refraining from using large appliances (like dishwashers, washers and dryers) during peak hours between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m avoiding the weekend,” interim CEO Brad Jones said in the statement. p

Record high temperatures this weekend

The appeal comes as record temperatures this weekend are expected to exacerbate a deepening drought in most of the southern U.S.

From Phoenix to Amarillo, Texas, record temperatures in the triple digits are expected, with a chance that some parts of Texas will break daily records over the next seven days.

ERCOT came under scrutiny last year after record cold temperatures in February caused the state’s highest electricity demand and more than 200 people died during the power crisis, with the leading cause of death being hypothermia.
In March 2021, ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness was fired after widespread power outages during a series of winter storms that left many Texas residents in the dark for days.

Now the heat is putting Texas’ power grid to the test.

On Wednesday, ERCOT urged power plants to postpone outages and return from outages already in progress “to supply Texans this weekend.”

Mother Nature is preparing an historic heatwave for Mother's Day weekend

Temperatures on Saturday should be in the 90s across Texas — 10 to 15 degrees above average, according to CNN weather forecasters. Temperatures are expected to range in the mid-90s to the low 100s on Sunday, with much of central and west Texas hitting 100 to 105 degrees — about 10 to 15 degrees above average.

ERCOT accounts for about 90% of the state’s electrical load, according to a statement by the organization.

The unusually hot weather is driving demand across the state to record levels, the statement said.

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