HOUSTON — This weekend will be full of activities and celebrations and many of you will be dealing with the Houston heat.
As we crank up the AC, will the Texas power grid be able to handle it?
ERCOT has its projected supply and demand chart online. It shows that it will be incredibly close between 3 and 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
The number one stressor on Texas’ electric grid is people running their air conditioners, which most are doing heading into an extremely hot weekend.
To give you some perspective, ERCOT just released its latest weather update saying this was the warmest April Texas has seen since 2012, and the warmest May on record.
Because of that, ERCOT has already hit a record for the most demand ever and that record will likely continue to be broken this summer.
It’s something energy and climate experts are watching closely.
“During winter storm Uri the grid didn’t stay up during the worst-case scenario,” Andrew Dressler, with Texas A&M University, said. “This year it’s looking maybe more likely that we have a worst-case heat wave event and ERCOT has to be ready for it if that happens.”
His concern? The power grid is old.
Dressler is one of many experts saying, because Texas hasn’t made necessary investments to update it, there’s really no margin for error if something goes wrong.
That supply-demand chart is constantly updated throughout the day. KHOU 11 News will be keeping an eye on it throughout the day.
Monitoring the power grid
Anytime the Texas power grid is the subject of a conservation advisory, or when the weather turns extreme in the Lone Star State, it's a good time to check on supply and demand.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has a dashboard that allows you to monitor real-time grid conditions.
This is a real-time look at supply of power and demand, as reported by ERCOT. It also shows projected supply and demand, based on forecast.
ERCOT is tracking the state of the grid, as well as the state of the operating reserve.
There are several more real-time monitors that you can check on ERCOT's site, including system-wide demand, solar, current prices, and more.