Texas power use hits new high again amid heat wave

(Reuters) – Demand for power in Texas hit a record high on Monday for the eighth time this summer as homes and businesses kept air conditioners cranked up to escape a lingering heat wave.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the grid for more than 26 million customers representing about 90% of the state’s power load, said it has enough resources available to meet soaring demand.

Texas residents have worried about extreme weather since a deadly storm in February 2021 left millions without power, water and heat for days as ERCOT struggled to prevent a grid collapse.

After setting 11 new highs for demand last summer, ERCOT said usage hit a preliminary 83,854 megawatts (MW), which topped the most recent record high of 83,593 MW on Aug. 1.

Rising economic and population growth have boosted electricity use in Sun Belt states such as Texas even though overall U.S. power demand is projected to ease in 2023 after hitting a record high in 2022.

In the real-time market, prices briefly hovered between$1,000-$2,000 per MWh, according to the ERCOT website.

(Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)