Rising temperatures could put a strain on Texas power grid

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 9:38 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -Energy experts are warning the state of Texas of a strain on the power grid. There are concerns of a near all-time high demand for the month of May due to some of the state’s generators being offline because of annual spring maintenance.

Meagan Brown, Public Information Officer at Bryan Texas Utilities, said generator maintenance occurs in the spring. Although, thermal plants being offline due to maintenance is a major concern across the state.

“In Texas, we have hot and cold, right? So we try to hit those sweet spots in the middle so we can get those mild temperatures to do some maintenance,” said Brown. ”With the temperatures, we are expecting this early in the year while ERCOT typically has generation outages going on... This is what creates a bit of scarcity.”

The higher average temperatures lead to a higher demand for energy. Which is an issue in growing areas, like the Brazos Valley.

“Texas is growing at kind of really an astronomical pace,” said Brown. “I mean you can see that right here in the Brazos Valley with our great location in what they call the Texas triangle.”

Brown said the best thing you could do is be smart in the way you preserve energy.

“Many people think turning the air up to 78 degrees is what we mean,” said Brown. “That is not the case. You just need to bump it up a few degrees.”

Richard Benavides, Service Manager at Barker’s Heating and Cooling, said the key is keeping a steady temperature throughout the day.

“What we encourage people to do when they are looking at replacement units is looking at a 2-speed or higher system,” said Benavides. “What that means is they are more efficient with a better SIR rating. So if you can achieve 17 to 20 SIR that will help the power grid and the cost of energy on your home for sure.”

ERCOT declined to speak with KBTX but said they believe Texas has enough power to meet demands and will continue to supply all available tools to manage the grid reliably.

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