| Texas PUC says turn off that extra light!
The Public Utility Commission has put out a Yellow Conservation Alert for this week, warning that high temperatures expected this week could push the state to new records for power usage.
Before you start panicking, this doesn’t mean state officials believe doom is pending. The “Yellow” alert is the second of four color-coded alerts the PUC has: Green is normal, where conservation is encouraged; Yellow is conservation needed; Red is conservation critical; and Black is a power emergency.
And as of 11 a.m. officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (the grid operator for most of the state) were expecting today’s peak demand to be 61,632 megawatts,
well below any records.
But following the rolling blackouts that happened on April 17, 2006 state officials have been more proactive in pushing warnings encouraging conservation out earlier in the day. ERCOT hasn’t issued any warnings for this week, unlike on June 19 of this year when it issued a “power watch” notice, its lowest-level public conservation measure, when cooling thunderstorms didn’t develop as forecast.
Most summers Texas hits its peak power demand in August, but ERCOT forecasters actually predicted July would be the hotter month. The expected peak demand for July is 64,927 megawatts . August forecasted peak demand is 62,830 megawatts.
So far this year the highest peak was Monday, July 21 at 60,311 megawatts. The all time Texas demand record stands at 62,339 megawatts, reached on August 17, 2006 at 5 p.m.