ERCOT issues conservation appeal Thursday as Texans projected to use more energy the grid can supply

Lileana Pearson Image
Friday, August 25, 2023
Power conservation expires, but Texas' demand nearly surpassed supply
It was a little too close for comfort in terms of the state's power demand on Thursday, and it might not be a done deal yet.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As extreme, high-heat temperatures continue, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas asked Texans to conserve energy as we're projected to use more than the grid can put out Thursday evening.

The state's power grid operator issued the conservation appeal from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. due to "continued near-record demand, and forecasted low wind-power generation," adding that consumers should only cut back on energy if it's safe to do so.

Officials added that tight grid conditions would also be expected into the evening.

ABC13 spoke to Professor Harish Krishamoorthy with the University of Houston Energy Division about what this could mean for people at home.

ERCOT is projecting that on Thursday at about 7:30 p.m., Texans will be using more energy than the grid can supply, which could result in temporary power outages until the system is able to catch up.

Krishamoorthy said demand on the grid isn't a local issue. All of Texas has been seeing record-breaking heat.

Ideally, when one part of the state is hot and needs more energy, another is cooler, allowing energy to be redirected to where it's needed. But that's not the case this summer.

"Our energy needs are only going to go higher, especially living in a city," Krishamoorthy said. "In terms of the long term for the ERCOT side of things, I think more energy storage and more capacity can help."

The conservation advisory comes after Houstonians were asked to voluntarily limit outdoor water usage due to the ongoing intense heat and lack of significant rainfall.

READ MORE: City of Houston asks residents to voluntarily limit outdoor water usage amid ongoing heat wave

A 23-day streak of temperatures over 100 degrees came to an end on Tuesday, coming just one day shy of tying with the 2011 record. Still, 100-degree weather is forecasted to return after the one-day break this week.

For more news updates, follow Lileana Pearson on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.