SAN ANTONIO — Record-breaking heat this month already has many concerned about the reliability of the power grid during extreme heat. Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the Texas power grid operator, released its summer forecast.
The power grid already had a test when temperatures shot up this weekend and there was a request for energy conservation.
ERCOT and the Public Utility Commission (PUC) discussed the power grid reliability during the summer Tuesday. The summer seasonal assessment predicts a new peak demand for power. The report ran several extreme scenarios where some Texans could lose power. The overall message is power grid is ready.
“The grid is more reliable than ever. Reforms are working. The lights will stay on this summer,” said Peter Lake, chairman of the Texas Public Utility Commission. “Thank you for playing your part in ensuring good reliability. We’re all in this together.”
If the power does go out, it likely will not be for long.
“If it happens, we’re not talking about days,” said Doug Lewin, an energy expert and president of Stoic Energy. “We’re talking about fractions of an hour and in a really crazy, extreme case, you know maybe over an hour. But that’s even kind of hard, not hard to imagine, but extremely unlikely. So I think it’s good for people to remember that. I don’t’ think we’re looking at anything like, you know, a complete grid collapse.”
ERCOT said it is working to better communicate when energy needs to be conserved before an energy emergency happens so folks can take steps to prepare and conserve power.