Power Warning Issued as Temperatures Rise

Transmission tower
Transmission tower | Image by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The above-average spring temperatures forecasted for the next several days have raised concerns about a possible power emergency for Texas’ power grid.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) warned electricity providers that any planned shutdowns for routine repair and maintenance should be canceled or delayed due to anticipated higher demand caused by unseasonably warm temperatures this week.

The high temperature on Tuesday in Dallas was 87 degrees, and a high of 89 degrees is expected on Wednesday. The average high temperature in April is typically in the mid-70s.

“I think the important place to start here is that in the springtime, a lot of power plants shut down for scheduled maintenance,” said Mose Buchele, environmental reporter for KUT, in an interview with KERA News. “They warn the grid operator that they’re going to shut down to kind of get things ready for the hotter summer months.”

Buchele explained that ERCOT has warned power plants not to shut down just yet, as spring temperatures are going to be hotter than normal. As Texans turn their ACs on earlier in the year, there will be more demand on the power grid. ERCOT is working to ensure there is enough electricity supply to meet that higher demand.

Concerns about Texas’ power grid have increased in recent years, as extreme weather has strained the aging infrastructure. During Winter Storm Uri in 2021, more than 10 million Texans lost power, with some outages lasting for days. An estimated 246 people died in Texas as a result of the storm.

In February, several Texas House Democrats proposed legislation that would connect Texas to the national electrical grid, stripping control from ERCOT in hopes of preventing future mass power outages, as reported by The Dallas Express.

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