Power

Electricity demand in Texas to reach high record, as heatwaves continue

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Electricity demand in Texas will reach a high record this week; specially during this Monday and Tuesday, as homes, buildings and businesses turn on their air conditioners, to battle another heat wave.

Firstly, the U.S. particularly Texas has been hit over and over by extreme weather events; at first, a freezing storm, after tropical storm Uri; and now, by extreme heatwaves all over the Pacific Northwest.

Secondly, In Houston, temperatures will reach around 90 degrees Fahrenheit (35 Celsius) every day from Aug. 22 to 25, according to AccuWeather. That compares with a normal high in the city of 95 F at this time of year.

Thirdly, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates most of the state’s grid, projected power demand would reach 75,266 megawatts (MW) on Monday; and 75,666 MW on Tuesday, which would top the grid’s all-time high of 74,820 MW in August 2019.

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Electricity prices somewhat steady compared to all time highs

Moreover, according to Ercot, so far it has been able to meet the demand, and has enough power to continue doing so. One megawatt of electricity is enough to power around 200 homes, during a hot summer day.

In addition, despite the growing demand, electricity costs have settled around $48 per megawatt this Monday, particularly on Ercot’s region and its North Hub, which includes Dallas. Such price is well below the all-time high record of $188 per megawatt hour seen so far in 2021.

However, its nearly doubled the 2020 average cost of $26 per megawatt; while the five-year record (2016-2020) was for around $33 per megawatt.

On the other hand, extreme weather events, specially heatwaves are also hitting other south and Midwest states; according to AP, heat will cover Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois; in the South, apart from Texas, extreme heat will hit also Arkansas Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi. Also, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky.

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