Texas sets all-time record for energy demand in June
AUSTIN, Texas - It’s not even summer yet, and already Texas has set an all-time record for energy demand.
"I don't know how else to say it. It's worrisome," said Austin-based energy expert Doug Lewin, president of Stoic Energy.
As the high temperature set a new daily record on Sunday, ERCOT reported an all-time record for energy demand — 74,917 megawatts — breaking the previous record set in August 2019.
"To see us actually get above the all-time record on a Sunday in June is alarming and does not obviously bode well for what we're heading into in July and August," said Lewin.
Amid the surging demand Sunday, Oncor reported more than 3,000 outages, mostly in North Texas, but a handful in our area. A spokesperson for Oncor said most were a result of the record heat coupled with increased usage which put extra stress on their equipment.
"Hopefully we might see some of that this summer in terms of ERCOT or the state government communicating of a desire for people to try to cut back on unnecessary loads in the peak of the day," said King.
ERCOT declined FOX 7’s request for an interview, but said in a statement: "Current weather and load forecasts predict record-setting hot weather across the state through this week. ERCOT expects sufficient generation to meet the high demand. ERCOT is committed to keeping the Texans we serve informed should conditions change."
With long-range forecasts predicting hotter-than-normal weather, and thermal power plants already performing below expectations, experts say we absolutely could see rolling blackouts later this summer.
"I would expect that to be you know, they would be a few hours maybe during the peak of the day, and hopefully it's scheduled in a manner by the transmission and distribution utilities to minimize impact," said King.
- Will there will be enough power for peak demands in Texas this summer?
- ERCOT, PUC express confidence in Texas' power grid heading into summer
- Texas power grid already feeling strains, will it be able to handle the summer season?
Bottom line? Be prepared.
"Wherever you are, check on are there cooling centers available," said Lewin. "Any day where there's a heat advisory, with your medically vulnerable friends, family, neighbors, have a plan to get people to safety."
This weekend’s demand and outages are renewing worries over whether Public Utility Commission Char Peter Lake’s promise last month, "The lights are going to stay on this summer," will actually be kept.
"Some lights will stay on in the summer, and it can be a pretty high confidence of that in the sense that some light stayed on in February 2021. Just not all the lights," said King.