North Texas Buildings Go Dark To Prevent Blackout

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas(ERCOT) requested that residents and businesses preserve power on Monday afternoon due to extreme heat. The appeal was released on Sunday to conserve between 2 pm and 8 pm on Monday.

The request to conserve energy was from an increase in energy demand across the state. Friday, July 8, was the hottest day of the year in Texas, and they recorded a demand of 78,418 megawatts. A peak in demand was recorded on Saturday, reading up to 77,534 megawatts. These records were attributed to the high-temperature experience in Texas. ERCOT last recorded such high demand in August 2019, recording about 74,800 megawatts.

By 2 pm on Monday, ERCOT updated the state’s demand for electricity from green to yellow, reminding Texans to reduce power use. ERCOT updated the grid conditions to green by 8 pm on Monday, representing normal conditions.

ERCOT advised that residents can preserve energy by waiting till the afternoon before using large appliances like dishwashers, laundry machines, and refrigerators and by raising thermostats to 78 degrees. Residents should also charge their devices and plan to use batteries when the power goes out. Also, they should use surge protectors with their devices to prevent damage from electric surges. 

Business Owners were advised to go dark to conserve power.

The Reunion Tower’s large round top, which lights up the Dallas skyline from miles away, went dark on Tuesday. A spokesperson from Reunion said, ‘Reunion Tower continues to monitor this situation and as usual, do its part to help per ERCOT’s appeal for power conservation.’

Omni hotel’s massive light boards usually light up the environment. Through an email, they informed the public, ‘It is a conversation we’ve been having since last week when temperatures were staying high throughout the day. We have a group in-house that is having a gathering on Pegasus Lawn, and we’ll have the lights on from sunset(8:37 pm) till 10 pm for them facing downtown. However, we will have the backlights facing the highways off all night. We will also continue to have the lights off in the morning and reevaluate from there.’

Global Life Field in Arlington will also conserve energy, raising the internal temperature from 72 to 75 degrees.

The major cryptocurrency miners have reduced mining operations, and also joined the effort to conserve power, returning about 1000 megawatts watt of power to the grid.  

ERCOT reports that electricity demand was reduced by 500 megawatts between 1:56 and 2 pm on Monday, which amounts to powering 10000 homes.

Power grids are facing critical tests from high temperatures this summer from climate change effects. The National Weather Service predicts that heat will continue to increase, hitting 104 degrees through Thursday.

In 2021, Texas went through a prolonged period of blackouts due to the winter storms. The event led to the loss of lives and properties worth billions of dollars. Some consultants are expressing concerns about the resilience of the power grid.

An Austin-based energy consultant, Doug Lewin, noted that reaching the temperature’s peak forecast early in summer questions power availability by August, which is usually hotter. 

The Public Utility Commission Chairman Peter Lake expressed absolute confidence in no systemic grid failure, stating that the state has handled the power grid delicately since the last power outage in 2021.

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