© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Overhead power lines are seen during record-breaking temperatures in Houston, Texas, U.S., February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Adrees Latif//File Photo
(Reuters) – Power demand in Texas will break the all-time high next week as economic growth boosts overall usage and hot weather causes homes and businesses to crank up their air conditioners, the state’s power grid operator forecast on Thursday.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the grid for most of the state, said it had enough resources available to meet forecast demand.
Extreme weather reminds Texans of the 2021 February freeze that left millions 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 was shut.
AccuWeather forecast high temperatures in Houston would remain in the low to mid 90s Fahrenheit (33.9 Celsius) from May 31-June 27. That compares with a normal high of 90 F (32.2 C).
After setting a new May record of 71,688 megawatts (MW) on May 31, ERCOT said usage would reach 70,320 MW on June 5, which would top the current June high of 70,257 MW set in 2021.
ERCOT forecast demand would keep rising to 74,948 MW on June 6 and 75,000 MW on June 7, which would top the grid’s all-time high of 74,820 MW set in August 2019.
One megawatt can power around 1,000 U.S. homes on a typical day, but only about 200 homes on a hot summer day in Texas.
ERCOT forecast continued economic growth would boost peak demand to 77,317 MW this summer. The grid expects the addition of wind and solar plants over the past year increased the amount of power resources available this summer to 91,392 MW.