AUSTIN — With temperatures across Texas expected to reach as high as 100 degrees over the coming Mother’s Day weekend, the state’s electric grid operator is asking power plants to make preparations to avoid outages.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which covers nearly all of the state, said it has contacted state regulators and power-generating and transmission-line companies to ensure that higher-than-expected demand can be met from Saturday through Monday.
“ERCOT will deploy all the tools available to us to manage the grid reliably,” the state-regulated nonprofit that manages electric reliability for about 90% of Texas said in a statement. “At this time, ERCOT projects there will be sufficient generation to meet this high demand for electricity.”
In a jargon-laced update for electricity providers on Wednesday, ERCOT said it was making preparations for a “reserve capacity deficiency” and was asking generating companies to delay or cancel planned outages through the weekend to keep up with demand.
Electricity supply has emerged as a top concern for Texas, the only state that operates its own power grid, since the February 2021 winter storm knocked out generation capacity at generating plants fueled by both renewable and traditional energy sources and put the state just minutes away from a catastrophic collapse.
Typically in Texas, demand for electric power is greater in the warmer months than in the winter.
According to National Weather Service forecasts, temperatures in Central Texas will range from 100 to 105 degrees on Sunday. A similar forecast is in store toward San Angelo and Abilene.
The Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Panhandle regions are expected to see weekend temperatures in the upper 90s.
The high temperatures in El Paso, which is not on ERCOT’s grid, will top out in the middle 80s, according to the weather service.
John C. Moritz covers Texas government and politics for the USA Today Network in Austin. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @JohnnieMo.
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