ERCOT Projects Meeting Demand for Power Without Rolling Outages, Conservation Alerts

As the temperatures rise, so will the demand for power

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The state’s power grid operator says they have enough supply to meet higher than normal demand expected this weekend.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, also known as ERCOT, has asked companies that generate electricity to pivot to handle six straight days of hot weather.

Families spent time cooling off and soaking up the rays Friday at Windhaven Meadows Park in Plano ahead of a taste of summer expected this weekend.

“Everyone’s talking about it, so I guess it’s going to be really hot,” said Tracy Askew.

As the temperatures rise, so will the demand for power.

In a news release, ERCOT said it predicts "larger than normal demand during record-breaking temperatures" this weekend but does not anticipate issuing a conservation warning to Texans.

“I think they’re feeling pretty confident that there won’t be any outages. I am too,” said energy expert Doug Lewin, president of Stoic Energy.

Lewin says the heatwave is arriving earlier than normal in the year, but the sun and strong winds expected on Monday should help avoid rolling outages.

ERCOT tells NBC 5 it issued an Advanced Action Notice (AAN) asking power plant owners and generators to postpone planned maintenance and to return from maintenance already in progress.

"Generators and transmission owners have worked with us to reschedule maintenance outages. Those changes, along with a slight drop in forecasted temperatures, have given us sufficient reserves," said ERCOT Vice President Woody Rickerson in a statement. "With unseasonably warm weather in the forecast, we will continue to monitor conditions so we can reliably operate the grid."

“It looks to me like they've got enough back online, when combined with that wind and solar I think we’re going to get through this all right,” said Lewin.

Even with improvements made following the deadly February freeze, Lewin says the state still has a long way to go to have a truly reliable grid and energy efficiency is vital.

“We have an energy efficiency goal, the state does. It is 80% lower than the average state in the United States,” he said. “So that is a problem and that we will continue to be vulnerable and at-risk, until that is addressed.”

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