Texas Power Demand to Hit 2021 High During Another Heatwave

August 12, 2021

The Texas power grid operator forecast demand would reach its highest in 2021 on Wednesday and Thursday as homes and businesses crank up their air conditioners to escape another heatwave.

The grid, however, also forecast power use would reach that lofty level on Monday and Tuesday, only to pull back those outlooks as less hot weather reduced the peaks.

The United States has been beset by several extreme weather events this year, including a freeze in Texas that knocked out power to millions in February and record heat in the Pacific Northwest this summer.

Temperatures in Dallas will reach the upper 90s Fahrenheit (35 Celsius) every day from Aug. 8-13, according to AccuWeather. That is in line with the city’s normal high of 97 F at this time of year.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates most of the state’s grid, projected power use would reach 73,163 megawatts (MW) on Wednesday, 73,695 MW on Thursday and 73,955 MW on Aug. 18.

Earlier in the day, ERCIOT forecast Wednesday’s peak would reach 73,975 MW.

Those peaks, if they are met, would top this year’s current high of 72,856 MW on July 26, but would fall short of 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.

Extreme weather reminds Texans of the February freeze that left millions without power, water and heat for days during a deadly storm as ERCOT scrambled to prevent a grid collapse after an unusually large amount of generation shut.

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