Texas Faces "Record High" Temps As Grid Operator Warns Of Above-Average Power Usage 

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, May 06, 2022 - 01:20 AM

An early-season heatwave could send temperatures across some parts of Texas into the upper 90s and or even triple digits this weekend and into early next week. Texas's power-grid manager warned that power consumption could be abnormally high for this year. 

On Saturday, much of the state will record temperatures above 95 degrees, except for the upper Texas coast and portions of East Texas. 

Dallas is expected to reach the upper 90s by Saturday afternoon, while Austin, San Antonio, and Midland could reach 100 degrees. 

"Dallas doesn't typically see its first 95-degree day until late May. If Austin and San Antonio hit 100 degrees, it would be incredibly early, as the first 100-degree temperature there is typically not until early July in Austin and late June in San Antonio.

"More than a dozen daily record highs are in jeopardy of being tied or broken on Saturday in the Lone Star State, including 94 degrees in Houston, 97 degrees in Amarillo, 100 degrees in San Antonio, and 103 degrees in San Angelo.

"The heat will continue into Sunday across Texas. Once again, nearly the entire state could see high temperatures near or above 95 degrees," said Fox Weather

The heat is expected to linger well into next week. Commodity Wx Group provides several weather models showing Houston could record a temperature above 100 degrees that may last through Monday. 

The threat of unseasonably warm weather has already concerned Texas's power-grid manager, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, otherwise known as ERCOT. They said "larger-than-normal" power consumption would be observed due to a surge in cooling demand. 

Commodity research firm Criterion Research said, "ERCOT's power load is expected to climb far above normal for this time of year, with Monday's demand forecast ramping to nearly 55 GW as heat moves in across Texas." 

According to Bloomberg data, Texas day ahead on-peak average power price for Friday has already hit $195.57 a megawatt-hour, the highest since June. 

In recent days, the prospects of higher cooling demand in Texas have sent natural gas futures soaring on supply concerns. June contracts jumped above $8/MMBtu on Wednesday and, as of Thursday morning, are around $8.50//MMBtu, a level not seen since late 2008. 

There was only one other time natgas prices were this high for this time of year; that was 2008. 

Bespoke Weather Services said, "if this kind of heat sticks around, and that is a risk in the South, where we have been leaning hotter with our summer ideas ... We easily will go over $10 in prompt month over the next several weeks."