Texas power demand soared to a record high on Sunday amid a severe heat wave sending temperatures into triple-digit territory. The good news is no major disruptions were reported on the grid as households and businesses cranked up their air conditioners.
Data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state's grid operator, shows power demand hit 74.9 gigawatts around 1650 local time, surpassing the previous 74.8 gigawatts in August 2019.
Soaring demand for power this time of year is highly unusual for two reasons: First, it's early in the season for temperatures to be so extreme. Second, it comes on a weekend when electricity demand trends lower because some businesses are closed.
On Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service (NWS) published a heat advisory for much of the state, except for eight of the state's 254 counties. NWS said Dallas hit 105 degrees Fahrenheit, Houston 100, and Midland 103 on Sunday
Weather models show average max temperatures across Texas could sustain a period of triple digits for the next two weeks. The heat dome could begin to dissipate by the 27th of the month.
Increasing cooling demand has sent power prices surging across the state.
Meanwhile, grid operators in the Central US warned Friday of potential capacity shortfalls that could produce reliability concerns through 2024. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation, a regulatory body that manages grid stability, also warned about the risks of power across multiple grids from the Great Lakes to the West Coast.