Grid operators in the U.S. are continuing to grapple with soaring power demand as sweltering temperatures blanket parts of the country.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas on Friday, Aug. 25 said that due to continued low wind-power generation and high demand, operating reserves for ERCOT were expected to be low in the afternoon and evening. As a result, ERCOT asked Texans to conserve electricity use from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. CT.
ERCOT said that on Aug. 24 it avoided emergency operations due to the conservation efforts by Texas residents and businesses, combined with timely rainfall in the Houston area, improved wind conditions, and additional grid reliability tools.
Similar to Aug. 24, ERCOT’s Aug. 25 conservation appeal did not indicate ERCOT was experiencing emergency conditions.
ERCOT also asked all government agencies (including city and county offices) to implement all programs to reduce energy use at their facilities.
“ERCOT continues to use additional tools to manage the grid reliably, including using reserve power, calling upon reductions by large electric customers that have volunteered to lower their energy use, and bringing more generation online sooner,” it noted.
ERCOT has also been working with out-of-state Independent System Operators and Market Participants to obtain additional power generation capacity.
ERCOT set a new, all-time, unofficial peak demand record of 85,435 MW on August 10, 2023. In 2022, the August peak demand was 78,465 MW.
This summer, ERCOT has set 10 new all-time peak demand records and last summer, ERCOT set 11 new peak demand records with a high of 80,148 MW on July 20.
On Saturday, Aug. 26, ERCOT said that due to low wind and potential low solar generation and high demand, operating reserves for ERCOT were expected to be low in the afternoon and evening. As a result, ERCOT asked Texans to conserve electricity use from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. CT.
ERCOT said it avoided emergency operations on Aug, 25 due to the conservation efforts by Texas residents and businesses, combined with additional grid reliability tools.
Similar to Aug. 25, the Aug. 26 conservation appeal did not indicate ERCOT is experiencing emergency conditions at this time. Current forecasts were showing a potential to enter emergency operations the evening of Aug. 26 because of expected low wind and potential low solar generation and high demand.
The Southwest Power Pool reported that its service territory set a new record for electricity use on August 21 at 4:27 p.m. CT when energy demand peaked at 56,184 MW.
Meanwhile, the Tennessee Valley Authority said the Aug. 24 peak power demand was 31,185 MW at 5:00 pm ET, the second 31,000 plus MW day in a row and the first time in the summer with back-to-back 31,000 plus MW days since August 5,6, 2008.
“Our employees across our generating fleet, including nuclear, hydro, natural gas, coal, and renewables, along with our high-voltage transmission system, are working hard to meet this week's high power demand,” it said.