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ERCOT: Second Straight Day Of Record-Setting Energy Demand

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jason Allen
Jason came to North Texas after working as a reporter for four y...
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Texans set a June power-use record for the second straight day during early season triple-digit heat Tuesday.

At 5 p.m., power demand reached 66,609 megawatts according to data collected by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. It’s been 32 years since it has been this hot in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metro Area –– temperatures at DFW International Airport reached 106º.

The energy usage broke the record set Monday of 65,047 MW. It is the highest demand for power since an all-time record set last August. The state used 67,929 megawatts then.

A single megawatt is enough to power 200 homes during peak usage hours.

ERCOT said there was still plenty of reserve power Tuesday, only dropping slightly below the desired 3,000 MW of reserve. That level would have to drop to 2,300 MW for the agency to declare a power emergency.

Should that happen, the state will ask residents and businesses to cut all non-essential appliances while operating the state’s grids at their capacity.

The next emergency level comes when reserves dip to 1,700 –– then, ERCOT interrupts service to industrial and large-scale commercial customers, which is agreed upon in their terms of service with the energy provider.

Rolling power outages won’t start until the third emergency level. Last year, ERCOT’s vice president called that occurrence “very rare.”

During a conference call Tuesday, however, ERCOT’s VP of grid operations Kent Saathoff said he believes customers have been heeding the call to conserve.

Looking back through forecasts, Saathoff said actual demand has consistently run lower than expected. He credited the difference to conservation.

With temperatures expected to decrease by a couple degrees, ERCOT is forecasting a smaller power demand for Wednesday.

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