Texas power grid operator issues energy conservation appeal for Tuesday

(Reuters) – The Texas power grid operator ERCOT issued an appeal to the public for energy conservation from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. CT on Tuesday, as operating reserves were expected to be low, for the seventh time this month.

Despite the end of the heat wave that boosted demand in Texas to near record highs over the past couple of weeks, the state’s power grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), projected electric supplies would only exceed demand by less than 2,000 megawatts around 8 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

Between Aug. 24 and Aug. 27, tight supplies forced ERCOT to urge customers to conserve energy for four days in a row after the sun went down and solar power stopped working.

Extreme heat boosts the amount of gas burned to produce power for cooling, especially in Texas, which gets most of its electricity from gas-fired plants. In 2022, about 49% of the state’s power came from gas-fired plants, with most of the rest coming from wind (22%), coal (16%), nuclear (8%) and solar (4%), federal energy data showed.

AccuWeather forecast temperatures in Houston, the biggest city in Texas, would reach a high of 38 degree Celsius (or 100.4 Fahrenheit) on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel, Harshit Verma and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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