Aug.6 (Reuters) – The Texas power grid operator on Friday forecast demand next week to peak so far this year, as homes and businesses turn on air conditioners to provide relief during of another heat wave.
The United States has been beset by several extreme weather events this year, including the February frost in Texas that cut power to millions of people and recorded record heat this summer in the Pacific Northwest.
According to AccuWeather, high temperatures in Dallas are expected to reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) every day from August 7 to 17. The normal city maximum is 97 F at this time of year.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates most of the state’s grid, predicts that electricity consumption will reach 72,862 megawatts (MW) on August 9, 73,303 MW on August 10, 73,404 MW on August 11 and 73,819 MW on August 12.
Those peaks would reach this year’s current high of 72,856 MW on July 26, but would be lower than the grid’s all-time high of 74,820 MW in August 2019. One megawatt can power around 200 homes on a hot summer day. Read more
The extreme weather conditions remind Texans of the February frost that left millions of people without power, water and heat for days in a deadly storm as ERCOT worked to prevent an uncontrolled grid collapse after a unusually high amount of production shut down due to natural freezing gas pipelines and wind turbines.
Peak power at the ERCOT North hub, which includes Dallas, traded around $ 44.50 per megawatt hour (MWh) on Friday.
This is well below the average of $ 199 per MWh seen so far in 2021 mainly due to price spikes of over $ 8,000 during the freeze, but is above the 2020 average of $ 26 and the five-year average (2016-2020) of $ 33.
Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Steve Orlofsky
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