Texas clears the bar, hits new winter power record

Texas’ main electric grid hit a new record for winter power usage this morning, hitting 57,282 megawatts of demand between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.

That tops the record of 56,334 megawatts set Feb. 2, between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., but is shy of the 60,000 megawatts the grid operator was expecting this morning.

Also worth noting: this record does not appear to have been accompanied by rolling blackouts (although the Rio Grande Valley may have come close). ERCOT, the state’s main grid operator, took added measures to avoid a repeat of last week’s power-plant-induced rolling blackouts. 

That’s little consolation to readers in the Katy area who dealt with intermittent outages Wednesday afternoon. Those problems were weather related but they were related to power transmission lines, not power generation.

Last night’s peak demand was 55,870 megawatts.

You can see what the system-wide load is by checking out this chart on ERCOT’s web site. The right hand column represents the sum of all the ERCOT regions. There tends to be a bit of a delay, so the peak usage for 8  to 9 a.m., for example, might not show up until about 9:30.