Tesla tries to help Texas power grid amid heat wave with in-car warning

Tesla tries to help Texas power grid amid heat wave with in-car warning

Tesla is trying to help the grid in its new home state of Texas as soaring temperatures result in new record electricity demand in the state.

The automaker is pushing for a new in-car warning to encourage off-peak charging.

Texas has a notoriously fragile grid that is struggling to meet rising peak electricity demands.

The problems have mostly cropped up in the winter amid cold fronts, but the state’s power grid isn’t coping very well with these early-summer temperatures right now.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) announced that six power generation plants were shut down yesterday.

In a statement circulated yesterday, ERCOT commented on the call for Texans to limit their electricity consumption between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.:

“With unseasonably hot weather driving record demand across Texas, ERCOT continues to work closely with the energy industry to ensure Texans have the energy they need. Six power generation plants went offline this afternoon, resulting in a power outage of about 2,900 MW. At this point, all available generation resources are operational. We ask Texans to conserve energy when you can by setting your thermostats to 78 degrees or higher and avoiding the use of large appliances (such as dishwashers, washers, and dryers) during peak hours between 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m avoid weekend. ”

Interestingly, Tesla echoed the statement and relayed the advice to its fleet of electric vehicle owners in Texas.

In a new in-car notification, the automaker recommended owners not to charge during peak hours (via Karlan Mitchell on Reddit):

“A heatwave is expected to affect the power grid in Texas over the next few days. The grid operator recommends avoiding charging during peak periods between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. whenever possible to support nationwide efforts to manage demand.”

While Tesla is best known in Texas for its Gigafactory in Austin and moving its headquarters there last year, the company also has important plans to support the state’s electric grid.

The company has embarked on a major energy storage project with 81 megapacks and plans to deploy many more residential storage and solar power.

Tesla is installing solar roofs and powerwalls on new homes in a massive new housing project in Austin, Texas, and its energy division Tesla Energy is expected to do more on that front since officially entering Texas’ largely deregulated energy market.

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