Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Texas grid expects to set June power record again in baking heat

Reuters: The Texas power grid expected demand Tuesday to break the June peak record for a second day in a row and urged consumers to continue cutting back on power use to avoid straining the system as much of the state broils under triple-digit temperatures.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the grid operator for most of Texas, forecast peak demand Tuesday would reach 66,415 megawatts (MW), easily surpassing the June record set Monday of 65,047 MW. Before Monday, the June record was 63,102 MW set last year.

The state's all-time peak use was 68,379 MW set in August last summer during a protracted heat wave and drought. Real-time power prices briefly exceeded $100 per megawatt-hour Monday afternoon. Next-day power prices for Tuesday traded between $165 and $175 per MWh.

The extreme heat hit Sunday when the mercury reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in Houston, San Antonio and Dallas, the three biggest cities in the Lone Star State, prompting residents to crank up air conditioners. Triple-digit highs were forecast for several more days this week, with several high enough to set records, AccuWeather.com forecast...

A road sign in Notrees, Texas, public domain

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