Texas power use to break records in heat wave next week, grid … – Reuters

Overhead power lines are seen during record-breaking temperatures in Houston, Texas, U.S., February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Adrees Latif/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
June 16 (Reuters) – Power use in Texas will break records next week as homes and businesses crank up their air conditioners to escape the first heat wave of the 2023 summer season, the state's power grid operator projected on Friday.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the grid for more than 26 million customers representing about 90% of the state's power load, has said it has enough resources to meet demand.
In addition to the coming heat, Texas and other Gulf Coast states were also dealing with power outages from severe storms.
More than 570,000 homes and businesses in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi were without power early Friday.
Extreme weather is a reminder of the 2021 February freeze that left millions of Texans without power, water and heat for days during a deadly storm as ERCOT scrambled to prevent a grid collapse after an unusually large amount of generation shut.
Although overall U.S. power demand is projected to ease in 2023 after hitting a record high in 2022, rising economic and population growth is expected to keep boosting electric use in Sun Belt states like Texas.
AccuWeather forecast high temperatures in Houston, the biggest city in Texas, will hit at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) every day from June 16-22. That compares with a normal high of 92 F for this time of year.
ERCOT forecast power use will slide from 80,009 megawatts (MW) on Friday to 79,812 MW on the U.S. Juneteenth holiday on Monday before rising to 81,019 MW on Tuesday and 82,295 MW on Wednesday.
The forecasts for Tuesday and Wednesday would top the grid's current record of 80,148 MW set on July 20, 2022.
Power prices at the ERCOT North Hub , which includes Dallas, jumped to a four-month high of $80 per megawatt hour for Friday from $30 for Thursday. That compares with an average of $30 so far this year, $78 in 2022 and a five-year (2018-2022) average of $66.
Reporting by Scott DiSavino Editing by Nick Zieminski
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