Texas grid operator calls for energy conservation as temperatures and prices soar

Texas grid operator calls for energy conservation as temperatures and prices soar

A substation is seen after winter weather caused power outages in Houston, Texas, United States, on February 20, 2021. REUTERS/Go Nakamura/File Photo/File Photo

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HOUSTON, May 13 (Reuters) – The Texas state electric grid operator on Friday urged residents to cut their electricity consumption this weekend after six power plants went offline during a heatwave.

Record temperatures have boosted demand for air conditioning and contributed to rising wholesale prices this week. The call for residents to save came after prices in Houston briefly rose to more than $4,000 per megawatt-hour (MWH) on Friday afternoon, from less than $6 MWH earlier.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said six 2,900 megawatt (MW) generating plants were shut down Friday afternoon. All of the grid’s generating assets have resumed operations, Brad Jones, ERCOT’s interim CEO, said in a revised statement.

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“We are asking Texans to conserve electricity when they can,” Jones said in a statement, urging residents to raise thermostats to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (25.5 degrees Celsius) and during peak hours during the weekend Do not leave any power-consuming devices running.

Electricity demand earlier forecast by ERCOT would peak on Monday at 71,152 megawatts. That level would break the May record of 70,703 MW set on May 9, but well below the all-time high of 74,820 MW set in August 2019. read more

Forecaster AccuWeather expects temperatures in Houston to rise from the low 90s to 98 degrees Fahrenheit Monday through Sunday. The normal high at this time of year is 86 degrees.

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Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Edited by Cynthia Osterman and Himani Sarkar

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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