‘More than enough energy’: CPS Energy prepares for potential record-breaking demand

Triple digit temperatures in Texas already puttting strain on grid

SAN ANTONIO – ERCOT predicts the statewide energy demand will be record-breaking this Friday, with demand expected to hit 77 Gigawatts.

The previous record was hit in August 2019 at 74.8 gigawatts. CPS Energy officials say they’re ready to meet growing demand.

Benny Ethridge, executive vice president of energy supply for CPS Energy, said the utility passed one test this week. He said San Antonio broke a record for energy demand this Monday.

Ethridge said there were no reported outages at that time, and units held up as expected.

“We are designed for the heat conditions that we see today. This is our big driver, if you will, and historically, summer has been the big season for our units,” he said.

Ethridge said keeping units and the grid cool is critical when dealing with extreme heat. He said CPS Energy crews are checking heat removal systems, ventilators, air conditioning units and fans.

Ethridge is confident there will be enough energy to go around even with increased demand.

“I’ll never tell you that there’s not a concern because, frankly, I have concerns because I know that, at the end of the day, I’ve got some units that are 50 years old. And we’ve got good maintenance programs in place, but things can break down,” Ethridge said.

If that were to happen at the local level or at the state level with an ERCOT grid, they would have reserve energy on which to rely. Ethridge added that CPS Energy could also purchase power through the grid if needed.

KSAT asked ERCOT about the increased demand. It sent the following statement:

“ERCOT projects sufficient generation to meet forecasted demand.”

Below is a color-coded energy conservation guide by CPS Energy. Ethridge believes we won’t exceed yellow. If we hit orange or, worse, red, he said it’s most likely because of equipment failure.

CPS Energy color-coded demand table


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About the Author:

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.