(Reuters) – Texas power grid operator Electricity use is set to break records again this week, as homes and businesses break out their air conditioners to brave another sweltering summer heat.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates more than 26 million customers representing 90% of the state’s power load, says it has enough resources to meet rising demand.
Texas residents are worried about severe weather after a February 2021 hurricane left millions without power, water and heat as ERCOT struggles to prevent a grid collapse after an unusually high generation shutdown.
After setting 11 peak demand records last summer, ERCOT forecast usage will break the current all-time high of 80,828 megawatts (MW) on June 27 four times in the next two weeks — hitting 82,362 MW on Tuesday, 82,732 MW on Thursday, 83,843 MW on July 17 and 84,135 MW in July. 18.
One megawatt can power about 1,000 American homes on a typical day, but only about 200 homes on a hot summer day in Texas.
In Houston, the largest city in Texas, AccuWeather forecasters forecast temperatures to hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 Celsius) on Tuesday and July 15-17. That compares to the normal high of 94F this year.
The ERCOT website reported that while energy prices were below $100 per megawatt hour (MWh) earlier on Tuesday, real-time prices rose $3,400 for two 15-minute intervals late Monday.
Futures or spot prices at the ERCOT North Hub, which includes Dallas, rose from around $41 on Tuesday to $34 per MWh on Monday. This compares to an average of $33 this year, $78 in 2022, and a five-year (2018-2022) average of $66.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Barbara Lewis)