The worst of the summer heat may have passed.
On August 16, CEO and President of Texas’ major ISO, ERCOT, H.B. “Trip” Doggett, wrote a letter to consumers thanking them for cooperating with ERCOT during the peak energy demands of summer and helping out with load control. The grid operator asked consumers to cut back on electricity use multiple times during this summer.
In Rollin’ Blackouts, Ellen Chang writes about Texas summer electrical demands. She writes that while rolling blackouts have been rare in Texas, this summer has been particularly challenging for the state.
“On behalf of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for conserving electricity during this period of prolonged hot, dry weather in Texas.
“As you have no doubt experienced, intense weather conditions have been the norm this summer. We have all had the shared experience of attempting to keep ourselves and our loved ones cool and healthy in challenging conditions.
“At ERCOT, we have been working around the clock to keep the electricity flowing, making sure you have the resources you need to stay productive and well this summer.
While we are always charged with making sure you have adequate electricity, this summer has posed a particularly serious challenge to the electric grid.
“Because the heat has been sustained over the entire state with little or no rain or cloud cover, the strain on the electric grid has been greater than ever before. In Dallas and Austin, we are beating all-time records for triple-digit heat. We have hit three all-time demand peaks in the last two weeks alone, meaning we’ve used more electricity on three days this summer than on any other day in the history of ERCOT, which covers most of Texas.”
Doggett thanked consumers for their cooperation and noted that an increasing Texas population is straining the electrical grid. He noted that while rotating outages may have been frustrating, they allowed ERCOT to keep a constant stream of power flowing to consumers.
“It is important to remember that we only implement these orderly, temporary outages to prevent a catastrophic collapse of the electric grid,” he wrote.
In a featured piece from CEO of American Wind Energy Assocation, Denise Bode wrote about the peak demands faced by the Texas grid this summer and how wind power helped the state meet demand. For the full article, read: Wind Power Lessons From The Texas Heat Wave.
Photo Caption: View of the Houston skyline at sunset at Enron Field in Houston, Texas.