After Blisteringly Hot Temps, Texas Faces Shot Of Cold Air Next Week 

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Jun 16, 2021 - 10:00 PM

A negative temperature anomaly has been spotted for Texas for early next week that may impact power prices. But, no matter the temperature, extreme climate variability has stressed out the state's power grid and resulted in soaring prices and forced outages. 

Next week's forecast shows a negative temperature anomaly is expected to roll into the Lone Star State between next Tuesday and Wednesday. This indicates cooler than average temperatures are expected. 

Texas' power grid has proved no match for extreme climate variability this year due to all the renewable energy sources on the grid. 

In February, Texas power prices infamously exploded higher during the frigid temperatures of the February winter storm. The power grid was seconds away from breaking as record cold temperatures affected power generation of all types. The state's independent and isolated electricity grid (operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT) had to plunge millions of people into darkness to save the grid from a total collapse. 

Earlier this week, a positive temperature anomaly in the state resulted in surging power prices and outages as millions of people turned down their thermostats to survive blisteringly hot temperatures. As a result, ERCOT requested customers this week to reduce electric consumption as much as possible. But as of Wednesday, Bloomberg notes blackout threats are easing as more power capacity comes online. 

The threat of blackouts is easing in heat-ravaged Texas as more power plants return to service after going down for repairs. The state’s grid operator projects available capacity will rise to about 75,000 megawatts Wednesday afternoon, up nearly 6% from Tuesday, with demand projected to peak at around 70,000 megawatts. That offers more breathing room, though officials are still asking consumers to reduce power use.

Texas Power Demand vs. Texas Power Capacity

Texas' reliance on renewable energy shows how an entire state, isolated from the nation's grid, can barely handle shifts in power demand due to extreme climate variability. 

So what happens to the power grid during next week's cold snap?