Energy consumption is skyrocketing in East Texas with the onset of high temperatures.
Longview-area power provider AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co. said it recorded the “unofficial peak load” so far this year between 4 and 5 p.m. Monday at 4,500 megawatts.
“Although it is higher than last year at around the same time at 3,400 MW, it is below our record which was around 5,500 MW on August 3, 2011,” said Tara Muck. , SWEPCO spokesperson.
“Typically our peak demand is in late July and early August,” she said. “With our region already experiencing triple digit temperatures, we are anticipating a hot summer. We prepared our system for peak use during the summer months by performing plant maintenance in the spring. »
SWEPCO and that part of Texas belong to the Southwest Power Pool, instead of the ERCOT power grid that much of the rest of the state belongs to. The Southwest Power Pool serves 14 states and said it has enough generating capacity to meet demand this summer.
“Electricity for SWEPCO’s customers comes not only from local power plants, but also from other SWEPCO plants in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas, as well as from wind facilities in other states, and from certain purchases of electricity from other power plants outside the SWEPCO system,” Muck said. .
ERCOT set a power consumption record on Sunday by hitting 74.9 gigawatts of demand, according to reports. While the Southwest Power Pool’s service area is experiencing high temperatures, it hasn’t broken its electricity demand record, spokeswoman Meghan Sever said.
“These elevated temperatures are expected to persist into next week and result in system loads approaching our all-time record peak load of 51,037 MW (set July 28, 2021),” Sever said. “Recent storm outages on the transmission network, coupled with high load conditions, are contributing to increased congestion. A strong wind forecast early this week is helping to improve the system’s capacity outlook. The SPP is currently operating under normal conditions, and staff are continuously monitoring the situation and are ready to notify stakeholders via notices or system alerts if our outlook deteriorates.
The organization said it expects peak demand during the summer season which lasts from June to September to reach 51.1 gigawatts, although other scenarios have been considered.
“Its diverse fleet of conventional and renewable generation resources from member utilities will be ready to serve at least 55.5 GW, taking into account both planned outages and an unplanned outage margin,” previously reported. Southwest Power Pool. “SPP’s peak electricity demand was 51 GW, which occurred on July 28, 2021.”
The National Weather Service expects high temperatures of 98 and 99 degrees for much of the rest of the week and 100 degrees on Saturday.