*Update* New winter electric peak expected Thursday morning



The peak morning forecast has been increased to 60,000 megawatts, according to ERCOT, but no rolling blackouts are expected.

The peak usage last night was about 55,870 megawatts, shy of an all-time winter record.


Texas’ electric grid operator is predicting new winter power use records Wednesday night and Thursday morning as cold weather settles in throughout the state.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is continuing its call for customers to conserve power between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Thursday, but they don’t expect a repeat of last week’s emergency which led to rolling blackouts.

The peak demand tonight should almost reach 57,000 megawatts between 8 and 9 pm, and more than 58,000 megawatts between 7 and 8 a.m. The current winter record of 56,334 megawatts was set Feb. 2, between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“The most critical times will be this evening and in the morning,” said ERCOT CEO Trip Doggett.  “While we project to have enough generation to meet demand, a significant number of generation outages, such as we experienced last week, could change that outlook, so we appreciate your continued support by reducing your energy consumption where possible.”

As we reported today, ERCOT has purchased extra generation capacity to get through the next few days.

All but 1,764 megawatts of the 7,000 megawatts of generation capacity knocked offline last week has been restored.

Categories: Electricity, Weather
Tom Fowler

34 Responses

  1. John says:

    I want Mega Watt to be a real rap artist. Hilarious! Texas has been cold, but at least it will warm up soon.

  2. Roy says:

    Save on your energy bill with these tips from hip hop star Mega Watt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUNISl0mr5g

  3. Rick says:

    At 8 cents per KWH this would equate to about $107 million bucks during the last 24 hours. Who says there’s no gold in them thar hills!

  4. JWG says:

    ERCOT is just like Wall Street? ERCOT buys and sells electricity? Your neighborhood is being shafted by the grid?

    Who are you people and where do you get your information?

  5. smackypete says:

    When we start requiring 1.21 Gigawatts, then let’s hope Doc is still around.

  6. Robert says:

    By reading some of the post here people don’t understand that the power plants have to have repairs done sometime during the year. Just about every one of them goes off line during the winter months because that is the low use time of year here in Texas. Last cold snap Texas had 50 power plants down. At one point we had to purchase electricity from Mexico for a day just to help the grid to stay on line. For the grid to stay healthy and you to get power they have to keep the load on the grid the same. As more people use more power more plants have to come online. As power demands go down they start cutting power at some of those plants. They have to keep supply and demand the same or the grid will fail. At that point no one will have power in large parts of Texas.

  7. pecos bill says:

    Seems to me that when Gov Perry proposed the building of a raft of clean coal power plants, a bunch of you knuckleheads wanted to string him up. Well you reap what you sow.

  8. Robert says:

    If they would just tell people not to run their pool pumps during this cold weather I bet they could cut the use by about 10%. I live in Katy, Texas and as you walk down the street you can hear everyone’s pools running even after they had told everyone to stop using so much power. Maybe they should start having the police write these people tickets because they are not following the request to save power during this time of need. During the summer they write tickets if you don’t conserve water. Why would this be any different? All these people have to do is turn the power to the pool off at the main electric box and then drain the pump and filter. They save money and other people don’t have to go with out heat.

  9. Tom Caldwell says:

    I don’t get this! What about our 125 degree summers? There is no shortage there, unless a whole lot of people don’t use AC. To me, this is just another way of Houston showing it’s ill prepared for handling cold weather of any kind!

  10. Txnglf says:

    How can peak electicity use possibly occur in the winter here in South Texas? A significant part of heating homes and businesses comes from natural gas energy. In the hottest days of Summer when 100% of cooling is electricity driven should you expect the peak usage to occur.

    • Tom Fowler says:

      It’s a peak record for the winter, not a peak record for the entire year. Topping 60k megawatts in winter is pretty unusual. As own power broker told me yesterday it’s the kind of usage you’d expect in June or early July, not February.

  11. De Force says:

    There would be less blackouts if the electricity is turned off when not in use.

  12. Fiscal Hawk says:

    Nuclear energy is very reliable but the EPA won’t allow them to be built in the USA. They don’t like the waste byproduct and want everyone to go to solar and wind subsized technologies. How many brown outs and rolling blackouts did Dallas get?

  13. olivia says:

    When is our government going to realize that WE DO NOT HAVE THE MEANS TO SUPPORT 40 MILLION ILLEGAL ALIENS? We don’t have enough water and we don’t have enough electricity and we absolutely don’t have enough money.

  14. Some Spark Chaser says:

    If Texans didn’t have electric heat, I don’t think that any of this would be a problem.

  15. Long Tall Texan says:

    Texans pay high rates for electricity and, in return, get a system that is not designed to meet the needs of our state during a crisis. Only a Republican politician or a power industry lobbyist could think that this is a good thing.

  16. Bobby says:

    Thank you Mr President.

  17. Mr.Stretchy says:

    Here’s an idea… Cut the heat and later the AC off to the Texas Legislature, their offices and the Governor’s office. Tell them when they focus on some real emergency legislation like actually solving the budget shortfall instead of bogus emergencies like Voter ID and pre-abortion forced sonograms, we will turn it back on!

  18. Skew2 says:

    You can’t tell me we are using more power now than we do in the summer. It might be a “winter” record, but I know many homes are heated by gas furnaces, with fans that are 110.
    So what is the big DEAL?

  19. leansright says:

    This cold is due to global warming and the coming summer brownouts can be blamed on it also.

  20. MrOldMan says:

    Who says you can’t buy a good news story anymore? This is a case of mismanagement blamed on the weather, with responsibility shifted to the customers. ERCOT is supposed to manage this. That’s why they exist. We’ve got plenty of power, they just allowed too many plants to shut down – and coincidentally, spike up the price of electricity. We shouldn’t have to freeze and sit in the dark because a few people won’t – or can’t – do their jobs. They should be fired.

  21. 1818So43 says:

    ERCOT is just like Wall Street. It seems as Americans we are producing young business and political leaders that tend to fail the missions they are supposed to accomplish. Is America becoming a nation of Losser Leaders? ERCOT’s job is to provide steady power. This did not happen over night.

  22. txlady47 says:

    Wish someone could tell us why the Katy area was without power for over 5 hours today…same thing happened last week..the wind came up and out went the power..same thing today..wind came and no power…and what really was making me mad is that I could look across Fry Road and see those homes at power and all the businesses on Fry Road had power…this was also the case when Ike hit here..I looked across my street and they had power, then up on Fry Rd there was power but my part of the sub-division was without power for 5 days..evidently there is something wrong with the power system on the grid half of my sub-division is in.

  23. FloLake says:

    Future winters will only be colder and the summers hotter. It’s time to take action before these blackouts become routine.

  24. I can't read this in the dark says:

    Those who just bought the first few Volt electric cars…suckers!!!

  25. Canne says:

    Katy without power for 5 hours today – from 3 – 8 PM. What’s up with that? Heck of a “brownout” or what. Meanwhile our monthly bill sits on the counter in the dark awaiting payment.

  26. Dark in League City says:

    Power out in League City as of 8:30. No rolling blackouts…ERCOT should be embarrassed on how this has been handled.

  27. Krystyna says:

    I’m with Will Rogers; there’s a power plant down in Bacliff/San Leon that has been mothballed for a few years now. Why? I suspect that deregulation has led to there not being enough generating capacity.

  28. Mike55 says:

    ERCOT just buys and sells electricity. They hope and pray that they JUST bought enough to cover the needs of the people. The less they buy more they make. ERCOT is a non-profit that makes a killin’

  29. pmshop says:

    ERCOT wants us to lower out thermostats to 55? Ok, YOU FIRST ERCOT!!!

  30. willrogersKnows says:

    I also want to know what happened to the idea of refining our own gasoline. I heard we sold the plants to the towelheads many years ago and they shut them down. I wonder why? Inquiring minds do want to know.

  31. Garrett says:

    Where the hell do we live…North Korea!!!! Thanks Perry!

  32. willrogers says:

    Note to ERCOT,
    There is an idle and unused gas generation plant in Bacliff with 4 generation units.
    I wonder how many plants have gone off line so as to decrease the supply as demand(and prices) continues to rise? Inquiring minds want to know!