“The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), the electric grid operator for most of the state, set a new electricity usage record today. Consumers used an hourly average of 62,786* megawatts (MW) of power between 4 and 5 p.m., exceeding the previous all-time peak of 62,339 MW set on Aug. 17, 2006 by 447 MW.”
That asterisk* is there because the number is based on a preliminary reading which ERCOT later goes back and audits.
A “Power Watch” is still in effect today with a peak projection as of this morning of 63,300+ megawatts.
Today is the third Power Watch of the summer. The other warnings were issued due to in part to “some unplanned generation outages” i.e. some power plants or transmission lines were unexpectedly out of commission. That’s not entirely surprising in a state as big as Texas, but always a cause for concern.
ERCOT put out a release this afternoon saying we missed the record today and the Power Watch is over for the week:
“Electric demand in the ERCOT region was slightly lower today than expected and did not break a record. Consumers used an hourly average of 62,547 megawatts (MW) during the 4-5 p.m. interval today, down 239 MW from Wednesday’s record-breaking peak demand of 62,786* MW.
System operators for the ERCOT grid, which covers most of the state, have not reported any major issues in managing the high demand this week.
Although a heat advisory remains in effect for much of the state, electricity demand is expected to be lower on Friday and through the weekend. ERCOT does not anticipate any electricity emergencies and is discontinuing the Power Watch request for conservation until further notice.