For the second time this week, Texas' power grid operator took emergency action and asked customers to conserve power Wednesday afternoon to avoid rolling blackouts as a heatwave strained power supplies.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) sent customers notices three hours before 1400 local time to reduce power instead of the 18-hour notice for Monday.
ERCOT blamed Wednesday's conservation appeal on record high electric demand and the lack of wind and solar power as a relentless heatwave scorched the state.
Who needs horror movies when you can just check the supply & demand chart for the Texas power grid? 🥴 pic.twitter.com/hWMhNVqxSd— Beth Smith, CT (@BethTranslates) July 13, 2022
Reuters reports that energy-intensive companies, such as Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp., scaled back production at its San Antonio plant to conserve power.
A Toyota spokesperson said the San Antonio plant might stop production before 1400 local time during the business week and reduce night shifts, effective immediately through August.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. is another company in the state that is reducing power to support rebalancing efforts of the heavily strained grid:
"We are carefully monitoring the weather conditions and communicating with local authorities, and will adjust our plans accordingly," Samsung said in a statement on Thursday.
Air conditioners were scaled back to conserve power at General Motors Co.'s Arlington plant, where full-size SUVs are produced for the Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac brands.
Sources told Reuters that LyondellBasell's Houston refinery, one of the largest US refineries, with a processing capacity of 268,000-barrel-per-day of heavy-sulfur crude, transforming it into refined products, such as premium grades such as gasoline, jet fuel, and ultra-low sulfur diesel, reduced power usage by switching from electric pumps to steam turbines.
A LyondellBasell spokesperson said the refinery has been working "to reduce electricity demand without shutting down assets or compromising the safety and reliability of our operations."
Last Thursday, a dealer for one of the larger institutional crude and products books correctly told us how industries in the state would reduce electricity this week because of an unstable power grid.
Meanwhile, Tesla asked owners of its electric cars not to charge "between 3 pm and 8 pm ... to help statewide efforts to manage demand."