The demand for power from Texas' power grid set a new weekend peak record Saturday evening, due in no small part to excessive triple-digit heat that remains in the forecast for the next several days.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) reports the latest record-breaking demand for power was set between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. where statewide peak demand reached 71, 077 MW (megawatts). This is 2,700 MW more than the previous weekend record set in July 2017.
“We are headed, as a state, into even more extreme temperatures than we’ve seen in the past few days” said ERCOT spokesperson Theresa Gage on Thursday. “Everyone in the ERCOT market – from our operators to generators to transmission providers to retailers – is doing what they can to keep the power on for consumers.”
The most recent set of record-breaking numbers eclipsed the previous record of 71,110 MW set in August 2016.
With high temperatures ranging from 103 to 110 degrees each afternoon, North Texas remains under an Excessive Heat Warning until 7 p.m. Sunday and the statewide peak usage record may be toppled several more times. During that same time period, head indices may exceed 110 degrees.
Earlier in the week, ERCOT said operators are constantly monitoring the grid's condition to keep power flowing uninterrupted. So far, there have been no calls from ERCOT to conserve power or curtail usage during the peak ours between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
A single megawatt supplies enough energy to power roughly 200 homes during periods of high use.
ERCOT oversees 90 percent of Texas' power grid, powering about 24 million customers in DFW, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, Abilene and the Rio Grande Valley. A map of the ERCOT region can be seen here.