Texas Residents Asked to Use Less Electricity amid Heat Wave as Fears of Blackouts Mount

·2 min read
Texas transmission tower
Texas transmission tower

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Texas' power grid operator is urging residents and businesses to "voluntarily conserve electricity" amid a heat wave in the state.

On Sunday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas asked Texans to reduce their energy use by "turning up your thermostat a degree or two, if comfortable, and postponing running major appliances or pool pumps" between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. local time on Monday.

"The heat wave that has settled on Texas and much of the central United States is driving increased electric use," the council said in a statement.

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The request comes during a time of limited wind-produced energy availability.

"While solar power is generally reaching near full generation capacity, wind generation is currently generating significantly less than what it historically generated in this time period," the council explained.

According to the council, wind generation is currently producing less than 10 percent of its capacity.

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Over the weekend, 50 million people in the United States were under a warning or advisory due to "dangerous heat," according to the National Weather Service.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said no system-wide outages were expected due to the heat wave.

However, concerns about the vulnerability of Texas' power grid in extreme weather conditions emerged following a winter storm in February 2021.

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The storm left 246 people dead and millions of Americans without power for days, according to NPR. The outlet reported that the victims — ranging in age from less than a year old to 102 — lived in 77 counties across the state.