Power demand spikes during June heat wave; ERCOT says electricity supply will meet demand

Despite ERCOT saying the electricity supply will meet the increase demand, energy experts said Houstonians should remain weary

No major power disruptions over the weekend

HOUSTON – A triple-digit heat wave across the state of Texas pushed electricity use to an all-time high over the weekend.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said the state’s power grid continues to hold up without any disruption, but possible outages and rolling blackouts are what many Houstonians continue to fear.

“There are some concerns because over in our area we already started feeling power outages and getting emails (that the) power was off, ” explained Houstonian Estella Navarro.

EROCT said the power demand surpassed 74.9 GW on Sunday, breaking the previous record of 74.8 GW in August 2019.

Monday’s power demand topped off at 74.5 GW with the demand slowly going down.

For cocktails, KPRC 2 officials expect sufficient generation to meet this week’s high demand, but Dr. Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Chief Energy Officer at the University of Houston, said we should still be prepared for outages.

“We should always be concerned because our energy generation and energy demand are pretty tightly synced. We don’t have much of a margin for error, and that’s the challenge we have -- is the margin for error is extremely small,” explained Dr. Krishnamoorti.

Dr. Krishnamoorti added that as long as there are no serious upsets like loss of power from wind or solar or a devastating storm, the Texas grid should hold up.

“Even though it takes more than a single event to get us into trouble, the hope is that we don’t have multiple events happen within a short period of time. Let’s hope and pray that that’s where we stay because we all know what the downsides of having rolling blackouts are,” says Dr. Krishnamoorti.

ERCOT released the following statement:

“ERCOT had a record-breaking peak electric demand on Sunday, June 12, 2022, of 74,917 MW, breaking the previous all-time peak of 74,820 MW that occurred on Thursday, August 22, 2019.  Current weather and load forecasts predict record-setting hot weather across the state through this week. ERCOT expects sufficient generation to meet the high demand. ERCOT is committed to keeping the Texans we serve informed should conditions change.”

Keep track of power demand and supply here.