Texas power use to break more records during heatwave this week

June 14 (Reuters) – Power demand in Texas failed to hit a new all-time high on Monday due to less hot weather, but will likely break that record later this week as homes and businesses keep air conditioners cranked up to escape a lingering heatwave.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the grid for more than 26 million customers representing about 90% of the state’s power load, has said it has enough resources available to meet demand.

The extreme weather is a reminder of the 2021 February freeze that left millions in Texas without power, water and heat for days during a deadly storm as ERCOT scrambled to prevent a grid collapse after an unusually large amount of generation was shut.

After reaching 95 Fahrenheit (35 Celsius) in Houston on Monday, a few degrees short of forecast, AccuWeather projected high temperatures would rise from 94 F on Tuesday to 99 F on Thursday. That compares with a normal high of 92 F for this time of year.

After power use soared to 74,914 megawatts (MW) on Sunday, which topped the prior all-time high of 74,820 MW in August 2019, ERCOT forecast demand would reach 75,201 MW on Tuesday, 75,264 MW on Thursday, 76,293 MW on Friday and 76,475 MW on June 20.

One megawatt can power around 1,000 U.S. homes on a typical day, but only about 200 homes on a hot summer day in Texas.

Despite record-setting demand, power prices at the ERCOT North Hub <EL-PK-ERTN-SNL>, which includes Dallas, slid to a one-week low of $87 per megawatt hour for Tuesday from $100 for Monday. That compares with an average of $63 so far this year.

ERCOT forecast economic growth would boost peak demand to 77,317 MW this summer. The grid expects to have 91,392 MW of resources this summer.

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