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Texas' electric grid operator is asking residents to reduce how much power they use between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Thursday. Officials expect that conditions on the grid will be tight again, as they have been repeatedly this summer amid scorching temperatures.
On Wednesday night, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas pushed the grid into emergency operations. That means operators were closer than they have been all summer to triggering power cuts for Texans in order to keep the grid from being badly damaged.
Demand for power has been higher than ever during the second-hottest summer on record, which has strained the state’s grid. Climate change is expected to bring longer, hotter summers to Texas.
Asking residents to conserve energy is one way ERCOT tries to alleviate the strain on the grid. People can reduce power use by dialing their thermostats up a couple of degrees and refraining from using large appliances, such as dishwashers and laundry machines.
This is the 11th time ERCOT has asked residents to scale back power use this summer. The early evening time frame is typically most difficult because solar power generation declines as the sun sets. On Thursday, wind power was also forecast to be low.
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