July Power Demand Record High
Texas' hourly power demand surged to the highest level seen in July on Tuesday as 100-degree-plus temperatures covered much of the state.
Power demand reached 65,970 megawatts (MW) between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. CDT (2100-2200 GMT) on Tuesday, according to preliminary grid data. The previous July hourly record was 65,432 MW set last year during an extended heat wave and drought.
August power demand also started off high. Power demand reached 66,489 MW on Wednesday afternoon, according to grid data.
The temperature in Dallas hit 107 degrees Fahrenheit (41 Celsius) on Wednesday, breaking the city's record high for the second day in a row, while Wednesday's high in Houston of 102 degrees also set a new record.
Peak demand is forecast to remain high Thursday, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the primary grid agency for the state.
ERCOT and power companies across the state urged residents to limit afternoon power use. The grid agency issued an advisory to generators as afternoon power supplies tightened, but no other action was taken.
Real-time power prices rose to the low $100 level per megawatt-hour from about $30 earlier in the day, well below the market cap of $4,500 which went into effect Wednesday.
So far this year, Texas has exceeded monthly power-use records in May, June and July. Last year, ERCOT set seven monthly peak-power records as extreme cold in February and an extended heat wave hit the state.
The state's all-time peak use was 68,379 MW in August 2011.