ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- In this week’s Powering the Permian, after six power generators that supply power to around 580,000 Texans went offline recently… Don Whaley of OhmConnect Energy explains the role record breaking heat plays in pushing the power grid to it’s brink.
Triple digits in May has resulted in a bit of a problem for ERCOT… and the maintaining of the state’s power grid but it’s not necessarily an increase in temperature that’s the problem, it’s when it’s happening.
“This time of year you normally have generational units that are down for maintenance. We’re just short of 20,000 megawatts of generation that’s offline that would normally come back on when we hit the summer heat and that’s part of the problem we’re experiencing.”
This increase in earlier onset heat has created a higher demand for power that companies wouldn’t typically see until mid-summer. The grid saw a forecast of 69,800 megawatts a couple of weeks ago in May which blew away the prior record of 67,000 megawatts. The all time high demand for the ERCOT grid was 74,000 megawatts.
However, a promising sign for the ERCOT grid and it’s future with being able to keep up with the increase in demand of energy supply far earlier on…
“right now the ERCOT grid is undergoing pretty substantial reformation in the wake of Uri from 2021… the likelihood of us having another Uri is fairly remote but were overhauling the system in anticipation for that.”
The general consensus of the energy industry is that energy generation will be able to meet increased demand as we continue to see these record heat temperatures so early on in what’s likely to be an even hotter summer ahead.