Heat Wave Sweeps Texas Threatening To Push Electric Grid Near Capacity 6/25/12
CBS 7 News Reporter
Odessa, TX - With temperatures hitting near record-breaking this summer, the Texas power grid is in high demand, which could mean higher prices for consumers.
Today the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the City of Odessa and the City of Midland issued statements asking the public to conserve power from 3pm to 7pm. Officials said their trying to prevent electric outages before they start.
"We actually have peaks in the summer and we have peaks in the winter. We have already identified areas …so we have already been working on what we call our summer load, " stated Oncore Regional Manager, Sue Mercer.
ERCOT stated today we wouldn’t be short of hitting the peak demand of electricity used last year, which reached around 68,000 megawatts.
"We're anticipating demand of 65,000 mega watts or more today and tomorrow ... 1 mega watt is enough to power about 200 homes," said Robbie Searcy with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
The combination of hotter temperatures and more people is an equation for blackouts within the Texas electric grid. The Public Utility Commission of Texas is meeting this week to decide on loosening the energy cap to create more power in high demand times.
“The current price cap during peak demand, the hottest days of the year, comes to $3,000 per mega watt-hour. The discussion includes raising that to $4,500,”stated spokesman public utility commission Of Texas Terry Hadley.
If the Public Utility Commission decides to loosen the cap on the amount of electricity; it will increase your electric bill. They don't know exactly how much of an increase it will have on your bill. Public Utility Commission stated that previously closed plants would be opened this summer to supplement the supply of power.