March is here, and that means that the Texas heat is not far behind. The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is gearing up for this hot weather by preparing the electricity grid with 77,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity. The peak demand is expected to cap out around 69,000 MW, so this will ensure that everyone has reliable electricity as we head into cooling season.
Ken McIntyre, VP of Grid Planning and Operations at ERCOT, said that they will “continue to monitor a number of factors that could affect power plant availability and demand over the summer. . . .” ERCOT also expects, even in a worst-case scenario, to have at least 500 MW of electricity in reserve. This summer will also see the addition of 346 MW of peak wind capacity which is enough to power 69,200 homes during peak demand on a mild spring day, according to ERCOT’s data.
Summer always sees a huge increase in energy demands due to the increased need for air conditioning. You can help reduce the peak demands from your home by using programmable thermostats to only run the AC while you’re at home and awake, such as in the morning before work and in the evening before going to bed. At night, if it’s cool enough, shut off the AC and open up the windows. You can save energy and subsequently money on your energy bill as the temperatures heat up this summer.