ERCOT Power Demand Hits Record as Heat Dome Bakes Texas

The next big test of Texas energy grid is underway

It’s extremely hot in Texas this afternoon. As of 1630 local time Monday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state’s grid manager, reported electricity demand hit a record high of 80,200 megawatts as millions of people cranked up their air conditioners to escape triple-digit temperatures. 

The previous record for demand was 80,148 megawatts last July. “That marked the 11th time last summer electricity demand broke the all-time record, and was the first time Texas had exceeded 80,000 megawatts,” the Houston Chronicle said. 

Bloomberg data shows high temperatures across the state will average over 100 degrees Fahrenheit through the end of the month. 

The reason for the scorching temperatures is because of a weather system called a “heat dome” that stalled over Texas, Oklahoma, and parts of Mexico. The system will shift to Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kansas early next month. 

ERCOT is vulnerable to extreme weather and has so far held up, as half of the electricity generated on the grid today is derived from natural gas-fired power plants, with another 20% from coal and nuclear plants. About 11% came from wind, and 14% came from solar. 

Earlier this month, “Texas Grid Faces First Big Test As Record Power Demand Imminent On Triple-Digit Temp Threat.” And ERCOT survived. Now the next big test is underway.