Texas grid operator calls for power conservation as temperatures climb

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An electrical substation is seen after winter weather caused electricity blackouts in Houston, Texas, U.S. February 20, 2021. REUTERS/Go Nakamura/File Photo/File Photo

HOUSTON (Reuters) -The state of Texas’ power-grid operator on Friday called on residents to cut their electricity use this weekend after six generating plants fell offline in a heatwave.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said six generation plants, providing 2,900 megawatts (MW), tripped offline on Friday. All of the grid’s available reserve generation facilities were activated, said Interim ERCOT Chief Executive Brad Jones.

“We’re asking Texans to conserve power when they can,” Jones said in a statement, asking residents to push up thermostats to 78-degrees Fahrenheit or above (25.5 Celsius) and not run power-consuming appliances during peak hours through the weekend.

ERCOT earlier projected power demand would peak at 71,152 megawatts on Monday. That level would break the May record of 70,703 MW set on Monday, but will remain well below the state’s all-time peak of 74,820 MW in August 2019.

Forecaster AccuWeather expects Houston temperatures to rise to 98 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday from the low 90s through Sunday. The normal high is 86 degrees at this time of year.

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