ERCOT March electricity use record broken

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of Texas, thanks electric consumers for helping maintain grid reliability by reducing their electric use March 3 and March 4.

“Energy conservation by consumers has helped ERCOT keep generation and electric demand balanced during this extremely cold, windy weather,” said Dan Woodfin, ERCOT director of System Operations. “We appreciate this support, as well as efforts by generation and transmission companies to keep as many facilities available as possible.”

Peak demand March 3 reached 54,549 MW, exceeding ERCOT’s previous March peak demand record, set in 2002, by more than 11,500 MW at a time many generators were beginning their spring maintenance outages. Hourly demand figures remained above the previous record the entire day.

However, electric use over the peak periods was lower than what could be expected during temperatures like those seen in most of the ERCOT region this week, and it remained low enough to prevent an energy emergency on the ERCOT grid. Peak demand this morning was about 4,000 MW lower than Monday as temperatures began to climb in some parts of Texas.

In preparation for this week’s extreme weather, ERCOT issued an alert March 2 encouraging conservation March 3 and later extended the request to 9 a.m. March 4.

The Conservation Alert is no longer in effect.

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