summer heat

June Hot Weather Tests Texas Power Grid

ERCOT says Texas electric capacity will exceed 2022 summer demand

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A week of June hot weather should not exceed the supply of electricity according to people who run the Texas power grid.

Despite past failures, especially in February 2021, officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said there is sufficient generating capacity for this hot spell and the entire summer.

Electricity is not the only cause for concern with a week of hot weather ahead.

At the Kiest Park Tennis Center in Dallas, people were playing tennis Monday and a Tuesday through Thursday youth tennis camp was still planned from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“We make sure they're drinking lots of water. We take lots of breaks, making sure they're standing in the shade,” said tennis coach Carlos Cruz.

The tennis coaches also drink lots of water and also occasionally worry about loss of air conditioning.

“Last week my power went out. I woke up and it was hot, extremely hot. Warmer than what it used to be. It sure made me start thinking about it then,” said tennis coach Devonte Thomas.

There was enough power Monday and an ERCOT report issued May 16 said there should be enough all summer.

At midday, Monday’s peak was forecast to be 72,991 megawatts with available generation capacity of 78,690 MW.

The May 16 report predicted a summer peak of 77,317 MW with a total resource capacity of 91,392 MW.

“That's a big cushion assuming everything goes right,” said SMU Maguire Energy Institute Director Bruce Bullock.

The total capacity includes a mix of wind, solar and other fuels.

Bullock said ERCOT preparation has traditionally been geared toward summer demand as opposed to that exceptional February cold spell in 2021.

“I think it’s going to be OK but we need to be watchful of it and I think that when ERCOT asks us to do something we should probably do so, and be mindful of it,” Bullock said.

He said conservation warnings may still occur to reduce demand at peak times to keep supply available.

“That's what they tell us right now until there's not enough,” Cruz said.

He recalled a time last summer when cooling equipment at the tennis center failed.

Thomas was not at the Kiest Tennis Center last summer. He’s a recent arrival in North Texas from Jackson, Mississippi.

“I hope we’ve got enough because I’d hate to come off this hot court to get some nice cool air and then I walk into more heat because the air conditioning is not working,” he said.

The coaches said the hard surface tennis courts are one of the hottest places to be in hot weather so hydration and cooling down is important.

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