As Texans endure a string of days topping 90 degrees, the state’s main power grid is struggling to keep up with demand, according to Reuters. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is now asking residents across the state to cut back on their use of air conditioning and conserve electricity until Friday, according to The Texas Tribune.
ERCOT publicized the alert yesterday. It is the second one they have issued since the blackout in Texas this past February left millions without electricity, according to NBC News.
“I don’t have any potential reasons [for the plant outages] that I can share at this time,” Warren Lasher, ERCOT senior director of systems planning, said. “It is not consistent with fleet performance that we have seen over the last few summers.”
About 12,000 megawatts were offline yesterday – enough to provide electricity for 2.4 million homes on a hot day. Officials say it is unusual for there to be so many outages at the start of the season.
ERCOT anticipated the electricity demand to exceed 73,000 megawatts earlier this week. The state set its previous June record of 69,123 megawatts in 2018. This summer is expected to be hotter and drier than usual for Texas, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Texas lawmakers passed legislation in the spring aimed at overhauling the state’s energy grid and preventing future blackouts. However, experts say it could be years before any significant changes take effect.