Texas power grid operator calls for conservation again as wind generation falters

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A combination of record high electrical demand due to a scorching heat wave and low wind generation prompted the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to call for Texans to conserve energy again on Wednesday. 

Heat advisories by the National Weather Service remained in place as temperatures topped 100 degrees for the 12th day in a row in some parts of Texas. 

The state capital of Austin will feel like its 110 degrees by mid-afternoon, with similar high temperatures in Dallas, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and other big cities. 

Transmission towers are seen at the CenterPoint Energy powerplant on June 09, 2022, in Houston, Texas.  (Brandon Bell/Getty Images / Getty Images)

As a result, ERCOT is asking Texans to conserve energy from 2:00-8:00 p.m.

"Ways to reduce electricity use during peak times include turning up your thermostat a degree or two, if comfortable, and postponing running major appliances or pool pumps during the requested timeframe," ERCOT said in the advisory. 

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The record high electric demand has been exacerbated by developing cloud cover, which has reduced the amount of solar generation, and low wind, which has caused wind farms to generate less power. 

FILE PHOTO: Wind turbines generate power on a farm near Throckmorton, Texas. (REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo / Reuters)

ERCOT also called for Texans to conserve energy on Monday from 2:00-8:00 p.m., during which time wind was only producing 8% of its total capacity. 

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High temperatures, meanwhile, are projected to continue straining the power grid through this weekend.  

"With 12 consecutive days of 100-degree highs, San Antonio has now seen its third-longest 100-degree streak," FOX Weather senior data specialist Shane Brown said Wednesday. "The all-time record is 21 days from 1962. The current forecast, if verified, gets (San Antonio) to at least 22 days."

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