ERCOT asks power plants to postpone planned outages to meet demand of extreme heat anticipated this weekend

ERCOT is adamant that the power will stay on this weekend

SAN ANTONIO – Texas is about to get very hot with the weather forecast expected to hit triple digits this weekend in many areas across the state, including San Antonio.

The increase in temperatures will undoubtedly lead to an increase in energy demand as Texans try to beat the heat.

KSAT reached out to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and was told the council is “anticipating extreme hot weather in the region Friday, May 6 through Monday, May 9 and may experience larger than normal demand for power.”

ERCOT is an independent nonprofit that helps operate and manage the power grid that covers most of Texas.

The entity has infamously made headlines over the past year after a systemic failure of the power grid during unprecedented winter storms across Texas in Feb. 2021.

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Failure to prepare and respond to the extreme weather event led to power outages and the termination of the council’s then-CEO Bill Magness.

With a shakey history that’s left many Texans without power, ERCOT is adamant that the power will stay on this weekend.

“ERCOT will deploy all the tools available to us to manage the grid reliably. ERCOT is coordinating closely with the Public Utility Commission, generation resource owners and transmission utilities to ensure they are prepared for the extreme heat. ERCOT has asked power plants across the region to postpone planned outages and to return from outages already in progress in order to serve Texans this weekend,” an ERCOT spokesperson told KSAT via email.

“At this time, ERCOT projects there will be sufficient generation to meet this high demand for electricity,” according to the spokesperson.

CPS Energy offers the following tips to help save money on your energy bill during high-demand days:

  • Set thermostats 2 to 3 degrees higher from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures when no one is home to conserve energy.
  • If home, use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler.
  • Set pool pumps to run early morning or overnight -- and shut them off from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Turn off and unplug nonessential lights and appliances.
  • Avoid using large appliances such as ovens and washing machines, especially during peak demand hours or the hours specified in the conservation appeal.
  • Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
  • Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing nonessential production processes.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.