Texas power use hits 3rd record this week in heat wave

(Reuters) -Demand for power in Texas hit a record high on Thursday for the third time this week and the tenth time this summer as homes and businesses cranked up air conditioners to escape a lingering heat wave.

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

ERCOT said usage hit a preliminary 85,435 megawatts (MW) Thursday, which topped the record high of 83,961 MW hit on Wednesday.

Thursday’s peak is 5,287 MW over last year’s demand record of 80,148 MW set in July 2022.

The current demand record will likely be broken again on Friday with ERCOT forecasting usage will reach 86,621 MW.

Temperatures in Houston, the biggest city in Texas, were as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40°C) on Thursday, according to AccuWeather.

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

In the real-time market, prices briefly topped $4000 per megawatt hour in some Texas ERCOT hubs, according to its website.

(Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad and Rahul Paswan in Bengaluru; Editing by Aurora Ellis, David Gregorio and Chris Reese)