After Monday’s record for peak demand, does Texas have enough power this week?
Anybody who has lived in North Texas for more than a year knows that August is the month that makes us appreciate air conditioning the most. Which also means it’s also the month that puts the most demand on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas aka ERCOT, the power grid that links most of Texas.
Today hit a new record for peak demand. For a while in the afternoon, the grid was fired up with 70,169 megawatts. The prior record, set last August 10, was 69,877 megawatts. According to ERCOT, 1 megawatt is enough to serve about 200 homes during peak demand.
A new record power demand this week is not shocking. A couple of months ago, the U.S. Census said the state had five cities in the top eight of places that added the most people from July 2014 through July 2015. People have not stopped coming in the past year. And they all use electricity.
Is a new record good news or bad? Neither, at the moment. ERCOT has a nifty free smartphone app that shows the difference between supply and demand. Here’s a screengrab that shows there’s currently enough power to meet the demand:
ERCOT spokeswoman Robbie Searcy says that there’s enough capacity to get us through the day (absent an unexpected problem with generators). She says there’s enough power for the forecast demand through the week. Which will be a lot like today.