Three days of record-breaking electricity demand by Texas consumers extended into a fourth on Thursday as power use reached a level not seen in the state in four years, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
Power demand reached 67,624 megawatts Thursday afternoon, the most this week after consumers began ramping up their use on Monday. Those usage levels pushed up against the all-time record in Texas, set on Aug. 3, 2011, when demand peaked at 68,305 megawatts.
On Wednesday, ERCOT asked Texas consumers to reduce their power use to reduce the chance of outages, though ERCOT Chief Operating Officer Brad Jones said in the release that the electric grid has been able to provide capacity as high as 71,000 megawatts.
The release noted that ERCOT expects more record-breaking demand for electricity throughout the summer.
“As the Texas economy continues to thrive, ERCOT serves some of the fastest-growing cities in the country,” Jones said in the release. “Population and business growth continue to drive up electric use.”San Antonio (Spurs); Houston (Rockets); Dallas (Mavericks); and, Austin.
So many story lines here, but the big one: intermittent energy provided by wind and solar is not going to be enough. It's a double-edged sword. Intermittent energy provided by wind and solar won't be enough during peak periods, and asking folks to delay some energy use until after dark means solar won't be there to pick up that "new" demand.
I assume the same thing is going on in California -- increased demand for electricity and increased demand for gasoline. BMW recently provided huge cash incentives if their EV customers in the Bay area would delay charging their cars until after dark. There simply cannot be that many EVs, on a percentage basis, and if it's already causing a strain on the grid ....