Texas grid operator calls for energy conservation as temperatures and prices soar

An electrical substation is seen after winter weather caused power outages in Houston, Texas, U.S., February 20, 2021. REUTERS/Go Nakamura/File Photo/File Photo

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HOUSTON, May 13 (Reuters) – The Texas state power grid operator on Friday called on residents to reduce their electricity use this weekend after six power plants were shut down in a surge heat.

Record temperatures have pushed up demand for air conditioning, contributing to soaring wholesale prices this week. The call for residents to save came after prices spiked to more than $4,000 per megawatt-hour (MWH) in Houston briefly on Friday afternoon, from less than $6 MWH earlier.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said six generating plants, supplying 2,900 megawatts (MW), shut down Friday afternoon. All network production facilities have resumed operations, ERCOT Acting General Manager Brad Jones said in a revised statement.

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“We ask Texans to save energy when they can,” Jones said in a statement, asking residents to push thermostats to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (25.5 degrees Celsius) and not to do operate energy-consuming appliances during peak hours throughout the weekend. .

ERCOT had previously forecast electricity demand to peak at 71,152 megawatts on Monday. This level would break the May record of 70,703 MW set on May 9, but well below the state’s all-time high of 74,820 MW reached in August 2019. read more

Forecaster AccuWeather expects Houston temperatures to hit 98 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday, dropping from the low 90s through Sunday. The normal high is 86 degrees at this time of year.

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Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Himani Sarkar

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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