AUSTIN (Nexstar) – Texas could set statewide power demand records with near 100-degree heat expected this weekend.
Texas’ population affects the state’s power grid, making peak demand possible more often.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) released a statement on Tuesday, writing that it is prepared to handle high demand this weekend. ERCOT said it has asked power plants that are currently offline for routine maintenance to come back online.
An energy expert from Texas further explained ERCOT’s statement.
“They use the word outage, which is scary,” said Joshua Rhodes, an energy expert at the University of Texas at Austin. “I know everyone has PTSD – especially since what happened in February of last year…that doesn’t necessarily mean the power is going to go out for anyone.”
Rhodes said Texas has added wind, solar and storage generation to our grid over the years.
“We’re going to have to build new power plants, new transmission lines … so it can keep up with demand,” Rhodes said.
Texans aren’t necessarily supportive of the state’s population growth. A poll by UT’s Texas Politics Project found that 40% of Texans don’t think the growth has been a good thing.
So far, ERCOT has not asked the public to save energy ahead of the heat wave.
Texas has created its first-ever electricity supply chain map, which enables rapid response to weather emergencies. This is something that was discussed after the February 2021 winter storm.
This map displays the state’s infrastructure for the electricity supply chain, helping to keep tabs on the power grid.