Population Growth and Intense Heat Push Texas Power Grid to Limits

August 19, 2015 • Daily Email Recap

High Temps, Population Growth Push ERCOT to Demand Records
It had been four years since ERCOT last set a new demand record, but the Texas grid has been making up for lost time since August began. In the last two weeks, ERCOT has set three new hourly peaks, topping 69,000 MW in demand for the first time ever on Aug. 10.
ERCOT says while the summer temperatures are partly attributable to the increase, the state’s explosive population growth is the real driver.
“A large part of the demand we’re seeing is customer growth over the last few years,” said ERCOT COO Brad Jones last week.
Jones made his comments a few hours after ERCOT issued a conservation alert and asked customers to limit electricity usage during the 3-7 p.m. peak-demand hours Aug. 13. Triple-digit temperatures and outages at several power plants brought the ERCOT system perilously close to its 2,500-MW reserve threshold.

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