A. Lee Graham
Demand for power on the grid serving most of Texas hit the third-highest level in its history on Wednesday, Aug. 7.
Peak electric usage within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region reached 67,180 megawatts in the 4 p.m. hour, according to the agency. The grid suffered no problems during the day, with more than 74,000 megawatts of electricity, including more than 2,300 megawatts of wind power, available during the peak hour.
“We appreciate all the work by transmission and generating companies to keep the power flowing on this very hot day,” said Kenneth McIntyre, ERCOT’s vice president for grid planning and operations, commenting in a news release.
The hour marked the highest demand so far in 2013, a year that has included a mild summer compared to 2012 and the record-breaking 2011, Texas’ hottest summer on record. ERCOT’s record peak occurred on Aug. 3, 2011, when demand hit 68,305 megawatts. One megawatt is considered enough electricity to power about 200 homes during peak demand.
“Until this week, peak demand and overall energy use have been lower this summer than in the past couple of years,” McIntyre said.
ERCOT demand surpassed 65,000 megawatts for the first time this year on Aug. 1, compared to June 25 in 2012 and July 25 in 2011.
Fueling the grid during Wednesday’s peak was natural gas, 59.; nuclear, coal, 29.2 percent; 7.5 percent, nuclear; wind, 3.4 percent; diesel, 0.3; solar and biomass, 0.2 percent; and hydroelectric power, 0.1 percent.
ERCOT’s top five demand days are:
1.) 68,305 megawatts, Aug. 3, 2011
2.) 67,929 megawatts, Aug. 2, 2011
3.) 67,180 megawatts, Aug. 7, 2013
4.) 66,867 megawatts, Aug. 1, 2011
5.) 66,849 megawatts, Aug. 4, 2011
More information is available at www.ercot.com.