Texas officials urge electric users to conserve today, tonight

Aug. 24—Conservation is advised for electrical customers into this evening as triple-digit heat persists over Cooke County and the rest of Texas, according to The Public Utility Commission of Texas, which just issued the following statement:

Expected low wind-power generation and high demand for electricity will result in anticipated low operating reserves for the Texas power grid this afternoon and into the evening. The Public Utility Commission of Texas is echoing the call from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) for Texans to conserve electricity use, if safe to do so. This appeal for conservation is in effect today, Aug. 24 from 3 p.m. — 10 p.m. CT.

ERCOT is not experiencing emergency conditions currently, but forecasts show a high potential to enter emergency operations this evening. Voluntary conservation by Texans will assist grid reliability.

ERCOT is requesting all government agencies (including city and county offices) to implement all programs to reduce energy use at their facilities.

ERCOT is using all available grid reliability measures, including reserve power, calling on large electric customers that have volunteered, to lower their energy use, and bringing more generation online sooner. ERCOT is also working with out-of-state Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Market Participants to secure additional power generation capacity.

Conservation is a widely used industry tool that can help lower demand for a specific period of peak demand time, which is typically late afternoon into the evening hours. ERCOT and the PUCT are asking Texans to take simple power conservation steps to reduce demand on the grid. The PUCT's Power to Save website has tips for reducing electricity use in homes and businesses and other energy saving tips are available at TXANS (ercot.com).

If you are experiencing an outage at this time, it is local in nature and not related to overall grid reliability. Please check with your local electric provider for more information. If you need further assistance, you can contact the PUCT's Customer Protection Division by calling 1-888-782-8477 or emailing customer@puc.texas.gov.

Why the Request to Reduce Usage?

Extreme Heat. Continued statewide extreme temperatures today.

Record Demand. Texas continues to experience near-record demand due to the heat.

Wind. Wind generation is forecasted to be low this afternoon during peak demand time and does not increase until very late in the evening.

Solar. Solar generation declines into the evening hours, before completely going offline at sunset.

Switchable Capacity. Independent System Operators (ISOs) in other states are going through similar extreme heat conditions and have asked for switchable generation resource capacity back to assist their regions. These switchable generation resources are within the primary control of other ISOs.

Peak Demand

ERCOT set a new, all-time, unofficial peak demand record of 85,435 MW on August 10, 2023.

In 2022, the August peak demand was 78,465 MW.

This summer, ERCOT has set 10 new all-time peak demand records.

Last summer, ERCOT set 11 new peak demand records with a high of 80,148 MW on July 20.

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