Texas grid operator calls for energy conservation as temperatures rise and prices rise

A power substation is seen after winter weather causes a power outage in Houston, Texas, US, February 20, 2021. REUTERS/Go Nakamura/File Photo/File Photo

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HOUSTON (Reuters) – A Texas power grid operator called on residents Friday to cut off their electricity use this weekend after six power plants failed in a heatwave.

Record temperatures have driven up demand for air conditioners, which has contributed to a surge in wholesale prices this week. Residents’ call to save came after prices soared to more than $4,000 per megawatt-hour (MWH) in Houston for a brief Friday afternoon, from less than $6 megawatt-hours earlier.

The Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said six generating plants, providing 2,900 megawatts, were out of service on Friday afternoon. All grid generation facilities have resumed work, Brad Jones, interim CEO of ERCOT, said in an amended statement.

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“We are asking Texans to conserve power when they can,” Jones said in a statement, asking residents to raise the thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (25.5 degrees Celsius) and not to turn on energy-consuming appliances during peak hours during the weekend. .

ERCOT projected power demand earlier will peak at 71,152 megawatts on Monday. This level would break the May record of 70,703 MW set on May 9, but is well below the state’s peak of 74,820 MW set in August 2019. Read more

The AccuWeather forecaster expects temperatures in Houston to rise to 98 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday from the lows of the 90s through Sunday. The normal high is 86 degrees at this time of year.

(Reporting by Gary McWilliams) Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Himani Sarkar

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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