ERCOT positioning for potential record demand as Texas temperatures expected to soar this weekend

Tom Abrahams Image
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Record Texas heat could push power grid demand to brink, ERCOT warns
ERCOT began positioning for potential record power demand ahead of a soaring temperatures for Mother's Day weekend.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Record heat and the potential of emergency power conditions in Texas aren't exactly the most ideal gifts for Mother's Day, but that's the possible reality for Mom and the whole family this weekend.

ERCOT, the embattled state electricity grid operator, issued its first notices Tuesday ahead of expected soaring temperatures that could either flirt with or break records this weekend.

"ERCOT is issuing an (Operating Condition Notice) for Extreme Hot Weather with forecasted temperatures to be above 94 in the North Central and South Central weather zones, from Friday, May 6, 2022, until Monday, May 9, 2022," the grid operator wrote on its public notices page Tuesday morning.

SEE MORE: A few rain opportunities before heat cranks up Mother's Day weekend

According to ERCOT, Operating Condition Notice, or OCN, is the "first of four levels of communication issued by the grid operator in anticipation of a possible Emergency Condition." This typically comes from a need for additional resources. The highest of alerts, "EEA 3," signifying rotating outages in progress.

The operator followed that with an Advanced Action Notice, or AAN, "due to a possible future Emergency Condition of reserve capacity deficiency," effective between Friday afternoon through late Saturday night.

So what does this all mean for Texans? The power that millions in the state depend on could be pushed to the limit even putting reserve energy in doubt. Tuesday marked the first notice tied to the record weekend heat.

The heat is also colliding with some power plants going offline over the weekend for maintenance during the peak window of high temperatures.

ERCOT said it will make another evaluation Wednesday.

ERCOT has faced pressure from both utility customers and lawmakers following widespread outages during February 2021's deadly winter storm that left millions without energy and 246 people dead.

SEE ALSO: Here's how you can check on the Texas grid in real-time

The fear that the power won't stay on if temperatures hit freezing is real for Texans. Now ERCOT has rolled out a way that you can check that supply in real-time.

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