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Tesla Providing Discounted Rates to Support Power Grid

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Tesla Model S charging at a Tesla Supercharger station. | Image by Sjo, Getty Images

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Over-the-air (OTA) alerts were sent to Tesla owners in Texas, requesting them to refrain from charging their electric vehicles (EVs) during hours of high electricity demand. 

The request started showing up on Tesla dashboards amidst record-breaking high temperatures in Texas. The heat has put a strain on the power system in Texas, causing its operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), to issue a warning about the possibility of blackouts.

Tesla and ERCOT, a nonprofit organization, advised residents and drivers in Texas to save electricity by not recharging their EVs during afternoons and evenings. ERCOT requested that everyone try to cut back on power between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

High demands for power have endured throughout the heat wave. According to Reuters, Texas has only managed to avoid major outages this year because of voluntary cutbacks in power use. 

Tesla alerted drivers: “A heat wave is expected to impact the grid in Texas over the next few days. The grid operator recommends avoiding charging during peak hours between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., if possible, to help statewide efforts to manage demand.”

A Tesla owner in Austin shared in a Tweet that Tesla offered discounts of up to 50 percent on supercharger charges to those willing to wait until after 8 p.m. to charge their EVs.

However, until ERCOT modifies its rules to allow residents to engage in the state’s energy market, Tesla has urged certain Tesla Powerwall owners in Texas to help bolster the power system by selling electricity stored in their home batteries.

Texas’s most recent heat wave struck Austin, reaching 103 degrees Fahrenheit. They reached 104 in Dallas, 102 in Houston, and 103 in the Rio Grande Valley. 

The power cutbacks seem to have helped during this hot spell, but the heatwaves persist. Reportedly, the interim CEO of ERCOT, Brad Jones, underestimated the heat and subsequent power demand Texas would see this summer.

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