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Electricity demand in Texas to peak year’s high next week due to heatwave

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Electricity demand in Texas will peak to the year’s high record this week, according to a forecast by the electric Reliability Council of Texas; the state’s grid operator. The increase will be mainly attributable to another heatwave expected to hit the state.

Firstly, as temperatures rise to high records, homes and businesses will crank up air conditioners seeking for relief. High temperatures in Dallas will reach the upper 90s Fahrenheit (35 Celsius) every day from Aug. 7-17; according to AccuWeather cited by Reuters. The city’s normal high is 97 F at this time of year.

Secondly, ERCOT said it expects that electricity demand in the state will reach 72,884 megawatts (MW) on Aug. 9, 73,472 MW on Aug. 11; and 73,628 MW on Aug. 12.

Thirdly, those projected peaks will be the highest during this year; as the highest on record was on July 26, at 72,856 MW; however, it would still fall short for all time high record in August 2019, of 74,820 MW. One megawatt can power around 200 homes on a hot summer day.

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Electricity prices tied to natural gas prices

Moreover, as we reported previously, the U.S. has been hit with several extreme weather events this year; from the Texas freezing storm, which left million without power and prompted a severe spike on prices; to heatwaves in the Pacific Northwest.

In addition, according to Reuters, on-peak power at the ERCOT North hub, which includes Dallas, traded around $44.50 per megawatt hour (MWh) for Friday.

Furthermore, this would be well below the spike to $199 per MWh registered earlier this year, due to the energy crisis provoked by winter storm Uri. However, it would be well above 2020’s average of $26 and the five-year (2016-2020) average of $33.

Finally, the prices of electricity would also peak, as natural gas prices are also rising; primarily due to higher demand. As we reporter earlier, natural gas prices are set to keep rising for the years to come; with no outlook for them to drop. Consequently, as many electricity stations run on natural gas turbines, power cost may also go up.

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