In an operating notice posted on its website Sunday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) warned of the potential for rolling blackouts on Monday and asked that Texans voluntarily reduce their power use on Monday as the heat continues.
Texas is experiencing above-average July temperatures that have been aggravated by low winds. Summer temperatures in the state have become more extreme due to climate change. Texas just saw its hottest December on record since 1889. As people use more air conditioning in efforts to keep themselves cool, record temperatures are matched by record high power demand, straining the state’s electric power grid.
The state faces a “potential reserve capacity shortage with no market solution available,” ERCOT said in an operating notice posted on its website. Though no :system-wide outages” are expected, the Texas grid operator encouraged Texans to conserve electricity by turning up their thermostats and postponing running major appliances between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday. ERCOT has also called on large electric customers to lower their electricity use.
ERCOT last requested Texans to conserve power during a May heatwave this year that coincided with six power plant outages. Total forecasted power demand is expected to surpass 79 gigawatts on Monday, ERCOT said — which would set another record.