ERCOT says it expects record summer for electricity usage

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Friday, May 7, 2021
ERCOT officials predict record power demand for summer 2021
There are still plenty of questions, but Texans should not panic.

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- On a call with reporters on Thursday, managers for the organization that manages the electric grid for the state of Texas, ERCOT, said they expect record electricity usage this summer.

In a state still sore from a brutal winter where power was offline for millions for days, the warning from ERCOT stirs memories of a storm that killed more than 150 people.

The forecast for record usage comes with a reassurance that there will be enough capacity to handle the surge of air conditioners during the summer's hottest days.

READ ALSO: Overhaul of ERCOT board could replace experts with political appointees

ERCOT's senior director for operations Warren Lasher said the organization had taken a serious look at its summer outlook and made adjustments to improve it over February's forecast that signaled the same: there would be plenty of electricity available.

Lasher said the difference was the 1-in-100 chance of a freeze that would knock facilities offline. ERCOT similarly predicts a 1% chance that supply won't be enough to keep homes online at some point in the summer.

The previous record for electricity use was hit in August 2019, with 74,820 MW. ERCOT predicts a new record of 77,144 MW sometime in the summer of 2021.