ERCOT energy electricity

Staffing issues left the Texas electric grid unchecked leading up to the Texas Winter storm last February, officials said.

AUSTIN — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has issued Advanced Action Notices as the state expects rising temperatures to increase demand on its electric grid.

Parts of Texas are expected to hit triple digits this weekend with the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas expected to reach mid-90s while the Austin area will creep closer to 100 degrees, according to weather reports.

ERCOT and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator have expressed concern that warmer-than-normal temperatures could impact power supply, but ERCOT officials said in a statement Tuesday that it “projects there will be sufficient generation to meet this high demand for electricity.”

That statement was put into question when the agency released the Advanced Action Notices on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, warning providers of a possible future emergency condition of reserve capacity deficiency.

Should this occur, ERCOT may delay or withdraw approved outages, it said. The notices are in place until at least May 11, it said.

The rising temperatures are yet another test to the state’s electric grid that is still reeling from the costly and deadly 2021 winter storm that left millions of Texans without electricity and running water for days amid freezing temperatures.

ERCOT and Public Utility Commission of Texas officials have said that the grid is more reliable than ever and better prepared to withstand extreme temperatures.

That held true even as a drop in temperatures in January put Texans on high alert as they recalled the snow storm a year earlier.

Darrian Bertrand, a climate specialist with Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program, warned in November that while protecting the grid against cold temperatures is important, it is also vitally important to protect it against extreme heat.

The number of days over 100 degrees have increased over time, a trend Bertrand said she expects to continue to see.

“Texas' climate is really diverse with the drier conditions in the west and wetter in the east, but all of Texas is looking at a much warmer future in terms of both average temperature and extreme heat,” Bertrand said.

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