Texas grid operator breaks peak demand record

If Wednesday temperatures seemed hotter than usual, they were.

According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the grid operator for most of the state set an all-time record for hourly demand as peak demand for electricity reached 68,459 megawatts between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

“We appreciate the work generation and transmission providers in the ERCOT region have put into preparing the system for ever-increasing electric demand as the Texas economy continues to grow,” Brad Jones, the agency’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, commenting in a news release.

The previous all-time record, set on Aug. 3, 2011, reached 68,305 megawatts, during an extended period of record high temperatures. One megawatt is enough to power about 200 homes during periods of peak demand, ERCOT said.

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“ERCOT will continue to monitor system conditions closely to determine whether voluntary conservation is needed by consumers to maintain overall reliability and protect the grid,” said Jones, expecting temperatures to soar even higher today and Friday.

ERCOT Meteorologist Chris Coleman predicts temperatures throughout the region will remain in the triple digits through early next week.

Consumers can monitor ERCOT system conditions at www.ercot.com or through the ERCOT Energy Saver mobile app, available free for Apple or Android devices.