The state’s power grid operator is asking Texas to conserve power this weekend, after six power plants were shut down Friday in unusually hot weather.
The Texas Electricity Reliability Council said in a statement that thermostats should be set to 78 degrees or higher, and people should avoid “using large appliances,” such as dishwashers, washers and dryers, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. through Sunday. He was released shortly after 5 pm on Friday.
“This afternoon, six power generation facilities were shut down resulting in approximately 2,900 (megawatts) of electricity lost,” Brad Jones, interim CEO of ERCOT, said in the statement. “At this time, all available backup generation resources are working.”
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Jones said the unusually hot May weather is causing record demand for electricity across the state.
Temperatures are expected to approach 100 degrees in some parts of Texas over the weekend. In the Austin area, temperatures are expected to be in the mid-90s.
One megawatt of electricity is enough to power about 200 homes on a hot day. This means that the 2,900 megawatts that were out of work are enough to power about 580,000 homes.
In an earlier post on Twitter Friday, Governor Greg Abbott said he had met with officials overseeing the network. “We continue to work closely to ensure the Texas power grid remains reliable and meets the needs of Texas,” Abbott said in a tweet.
Abbott and other state leaders tried to prop up the state’s power grid, after it failed disastrously during the harsh winter freeze in February 2021. The power outages caused by that disaster contributed to hundreds of deaths and billions of dollars in property damage.
Heading into the end of last week, ERCOT asked power plants to postpone planned maintenance outages and lift any interruptions in progress due to higher-than-normal temperatures in May. At the time, however, she asserted that Texas had enough electricity to meet the rise in demand.
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