The pressure on the grid comes from record demand for electricity amid increasing summer heat and a higher than usual number of forced outages at power plants, the organization said.
“A significant number of forced generation outages combined with potential record power usage for the month of June resulted in strained grid conditions,” ERCOT said in a statement.
ERCOT said Monday that owners of power generators reported that about 11,000 megawatts of production are forced out for repairs, including about 8,000 MW of thermal power. That’s significantly higher than on a typical hot summer day, when the range of thermal generation outages is around 3,600 MW, the organization said. Typically, one MW powers around 200 homes on a summer day.
“We will be doing an in-depth analysis with generator owners to determine why so many units are out of service,” said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT vice president of network planning and operations. “It’s unusual for this start of the summer season.”
Wind output is also expected to be below normal on Monday, but output is expected to increase as the week progresses, ERCOT said.
While the energy capacity of the system is lower, ERCOT customers simultaneously used record amounts of energy to cool their homes. ERCOT said on Monday that the peak load forecast could exceed 73,000 MW, a total higher than the June peak demand record of 69,123 MW set in 2018.
ERCOT asks residents to save energy
ERCOT has asked residents of Texas to set their thermostat to 78 degrees or higher; turn off pool lights and pumps and avoid using large appliances; and turn off and unplug unused electrical appliances.
After the winter storm in February, energy experts and Republican politicians in the state noted that the system was put in place to handle the hottest days of summer rather than freezing winter storms. Now that too is being put to the test.
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