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Texas grid operator issues voluntary power conservation call due to heatwave


(Reuters) -The Electric Reliability Council Of Texas (ERCOT) urged consumers to conserve power between 3 p.m. CDT (2000 GMT) and 8 p.m. CDT on Thursday with demand expected to surge due to a heatwave in the state.

ERCOT, which operates the grid for more than 26 million customers, representing about 90% of the state’s power load, said it also expected lower power reserves due to reduced wind generation.

According to ERCOT’s website, it currently has an operating reserves of 5,316 MW as of 6:27 p.m. CDT.

“ERCOT is not experiencing emergency conditions at this time,” the grid operator said in a news release.

Power use hit 85,435 megawatts (MW) on Aug. 10, setting a record for the 10th time this summer. It was projected demand to hit 87,102 MW on Friday, which would be another record.

Real-time power prices briefly rose above $4,000 in all ERCOT Texas hubs, according to the ERCOT website.

Discount Power, a unit of NRG Energy, the largest U.S. retail electricity provider, also requested that its Texas customers conserve electricity between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. CDT.

Temperatures in Houston, the most populous city in Texas, reached as high as 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit (39°Celsius) on Thursday, according to AccuWeather.

Extreme weather in Texas has been in focus since a deadly storm in February 2021 left millions without power, water and heat for days as ERCOT struggled to avoid a grid collapse.

(Reporting by Rahul Paswan, Harshit Verma and Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese, Paul Simao and Diane Craft)

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