Texas Power Demand To Hit Record High Amid Sweltering Summer Heat
Texans are cranking up their air conditions this week as high temperatures across the state are forecasted to exceed triple digits and could strain the state’s power grid. Last week, Houston-based energy firm Criterion Research warned of the incoming surge in power demand.
According to Reuters, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), Texas’ main grid operator, expects power demand to reach 75,195 megawatts (MW) on Tuesday, which would surpass August 2019 levels marking a record high.
“ERCOT weather-adjusted loads have been increasing rapidly since mid-2021,” said Morris Greenberg, senior North American power analysis manager at S&P Global Commodity Insights.
As soon as Tuesday, average high temperatures across the state could reach the upper 90s Fahrenheit and breach 100 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas. Bloomberg forecasts show high temperatures could surge between 100-106 Fahrenheit through mid-month — scorching hot weather will lead to businesses and residents boosting cooling demand.
The problem for Texans isn’t just the threat of power blackouts from a strained power grid this summer but soaring energy bills due to the rising cost of power generation.
The average price-per-kilowatt hour of electricity for Texas residents has increased 70 percent year-over-year from June 2021, according to The Dallas Morning News’ Mitchell Sherman, who compared new rates offered by state power providers in 2022 to those consumers were offered in 2021. According to Power to Choose, a site through which Texas consumers can compare power plans, Lone Star State residents signing new contracts in June 2022 are paying 18.48 cents per kilowatt hour—10.5 cents more than the averaged rate they were paying in June, 2021 (7.98 cents). — Houston Chronicle
Power bills for businesses and residents could be a “real sticker shock,” AARP Texas Associate State Director Tim Morstad told Sherman. Rising power bills are primarily due to the soaring price of natural gas. About 45% of Texas’ grid is powered by natgas.
ERCOT has said with wind and solar plants boosting power resources, it has enough 91,392 MW of capacity, though when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, the grid could experience energy shortfalls.
Texans should be prepared for grid strain and soaring electricity bills. Power grids in the westernmost states warned last month that power-generating capacity might struggle to keep up with demand amid threats of heat waves this summer, resulting in possible rolling blackouts.
High inflation and risks of power blackouts sound like many Americans this summer will be experiencing what it’s like to live in a third-world country.
Mon, 06/06/2022 – 18:40