Record highs could mean record electricity demand


With a Tuesday high of 110 degrees predicted in Oklahoma and even higher readings in nearby states, record electricity-demand is also in the forecast.

So far, Oklahoma’s grid operator, the Southwest Power Pool, has not taken any drastic steps to encourage utility customers to curtail their demand for more electricity in order to cool homes and businesses.

That’s different from Texas where grid operator, ERCOT last week encouraged customers to raise their thermostats in order to reduce the power demand. Still, this week’s increased temperatures will put more stress on the grid as homes and businesses crank up air conditioners to escape what has become brutal heat.

All-high highs are certainly in the forecast, not just in Oklahoma, but Texas, Kansas and other states. The challenge for most grid operators is keeping up with demand for more electrical power.

ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas operates a grid for 26 million customers and that represents nearly 90% of the power load in the state. ERCOT obtained permission this week from environmental regulators to allow power plants to exceed air permit pollution limits reported Reuters.

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