Texas electricity consumption breaks record in Monday’s heat

A map of Texas showing the state s transmission lines is a focal point in the control room of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates most of the state's power grid. (Ryan Holeywell/Houston Chronicle)
A map of Texas showing the state’s transmission lines is a focal point in the control room of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates most of the state’s power grid. (Ryan Holeywell/Houston Chronicle)

The Texas electric grid set a new record Monday for the most power consumed at any given time in the state.

Peak demand exceeded 70,000 megawatts Monday for the first time, surpassing the Aug. 10, 2015 record of 69,877 megawatts, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages nearly 90 percent of the state’s power load.

Use peaked at 70,169 megawatts after 4 p.m. One megawatt can typically power 200 homes on the hottest Texas days.

RELATED: Electric plants gobble natural gas at record pace

“The system has performed well so far through this early August heat wave,” said Dan Woodfin, director of ERCOT system operations. “We had sufficient generation available today, including more than 5,000 megawatts of wind generation over peak, and we hope to see those conditions continue during the week ahead.”

Last August, a string of days of 100-degree heat beat the 2011 record, and ERCOT issued a series of conservation alerts asking consumers to reduce their power use when possible.

ERCOT warned on Monday that temperatures are expected to hover near 100 degrees for much of this week, so the record could be broken as soon as Tuesday.

SHOW MORE