Texans asked to conserve power after 6 power plants go offline


Texans are being asked to conserve power through the weekend after six power plants in the state went offline Friday during the unseasonably hot May weather.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the flow of electric power in the state, said that the weather is driving record demand across Texas.

Friday afternoon, the six power plants that went offline resulted in the loss of 2,900 megawatts of electricity — enough to power about 580,000 homes. ERCOT had previously asked power generators to delay scheduled maintenance because of the May heat wave.

ERCOT asked Texans to set their thermostat at 78 degrees or higher and avoid using large appliances between 3 and 8 p.m. during the weekend.

Power prices on the ERCOT wholesale market on Friday afternoon spiked above $3,000 per megawatt-hour, far above the usual range of around zero dollars to $30 per megawatt-hour.

High temperatures are expected to hover in the mid-to-upper 90s throughout the weekend and into next week.

ERCOT’s management of the grid has been under scrutiny since February 2021, when a historic winter storm led to millions losing power for days and the deaths of at least 246 people.

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