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Texas Electricity Consumption Set to Hit Record Economic Growth and Hot Weather

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Overhead power lines are seen during record temperatures in Houston, Texas, U.S., February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

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June 6 (Reuters) – Electricity demand in Texas is expected to hit an all-time high this week, well ahead of the hottest days of summer, testing the resilience of the state’s power grid after more problems early this year and days of last year- long blackout during deep freeze.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the grid for most of the state, expects electricity demand to hit an all-time high by Tuesday, surpassing levels seen in August. 2019.

Utilization is expected to reach 75,195 megawatts (MW) on June 7 due to forecast high heat that exceeds typical levels for this time of year. ERCOT, which serves more than 26 million Texas customers covering about 90% of the state’s electricity demand, said it has enough resources to meet projected demand.

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“ERCOT weather-adjusted loads have been growing rapidly since mid-2021,” said Morris Greenberg, senior director of North America power analytics at S&P Global Commodity Insights.

AccuWeather predicts high temperatures in Houston this week — in the upper 90s Fahrenheit, higher than normal — and will lead to businesses and residents increasing energy use by turning up air conditioners.

Extreme weather is increasingly straining power grids across the United States, and regulators are already predicting this summer’s record heat and drought could cause blackouts in several parts of the country. . Read more

Much attention is focused on Texas, where demand for electricity is growing as the population grows, and after the state endured several days without power during winter storm Uri last February. Texas was the third-fastest-growing state by population over the past decade, according to US census data, adding to the strain on the network.

The network says the addition of wind and solar power plants over the past year would increase the amount of energy resources available to 91,392 MW.

Even if ERCOT has enough resources to keep the lights on this summer, grid power lines may not be able to move all the energy from where it is generated to where it is consumed.

This so-called transport congestion will increase costs for consumers. During a heatwave in mid-May, ERCOT was forced to urge customers to conserve energy after several power stations unexpectedly shut down, causing real-time prices to briefly spike to over 4,000 dollars per megawatt hour (MWh). Read more

“Transmission congestion in the real-time market grew 46% in 2021, totaling $2.1 billion,” Potomac Economics, ERCOT’s independent market monitor, said in a report. in May, noting that more than $560 million in the cost of congestion was generated during the winter storm. Uri.

Texas is the largest energy producer in the country, but also the largest consumer of energy in the United States. Its industrial sector accounts for 23% of industrial sector energy consumption nationwide, which is expected to grow due to drilling, refining and cryptocurrency mining, which are rapidly increasing demand.

One megawatt can power about 1,000 US homes on a typical day, but only about 200 homes on a hot summer day.

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Additional reporting by Gary McWilliams in Houston; edited by Diane Craft

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