Heat initiates request to reduce electricity use
Turn out the lights, it’s hot.
Electric users are being asked to reduce electricity use from 3 to 7 p.m. today and for the rest of the week.
The request came via a news release from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), system operator for the state’s bulk transmission grid.
"The ERCOT region is continuing to experience record high temperatures throughout the state, which is causing high electricity usage,” said Kent Saathoff, vice president of system planning and operations. “At this time, we expect to be tight over the peak hours today between 4-5 p.m., which means that significant generation outages could make us short of operating reserves,” Saathoff said.
If the daily operating reserves drop below the target thresholds, the grid operators will initiate emergency procedures, a series of progressive steps that authorize additional capacity from other grids and from dropping interruptible loads – large industrial customers under contract to be dropped in emergency situations, according to the news release.
“We would appreciate consumers and businesses reducing their electricity use from 3-7 p.m. as much as they are able,” Saathoff said.
The current peak demand record is 65,776 MW set Aug. 23, 2010. One megawatt of power is enough electricity to power about 200 homes in Texas during hot weather when air conditioners are running for long periods of time, compared to 500 homes under normal conditions.