Texas Power Surges as Demand Tops Estimates as Supply Drops

Wholesale electricity on the main Texas grid jumped as demand exceeded forecasts and generating capacity tripped offline.

The spot price for on-peak power briefly topped $900 a megawatt-hour in North Texas. The high temperature in Dallas was forecast to be 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 Celsius), 8 above normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. The grid managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. issued an advisory at 2:19 p.m. Central time that the amount of reserves dropped below 3,000 megawatts.

Spot Texas power averaged $170.25 a megawatt-hour from 2:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. local time, after trading mostly in the $30s to $50s since 8 a.m., data from Ercot’s website show.

“Load is running just over the forecast and we have seen some generation trip today,” said Robbie Searcy, an Austin-based spokeswoman for Ercot, which manages the flow of power to 23 million Texas customers. “We don’t have any serious issues on the system right now, but that’s why you are seeing prices go up.”

Searcy declined to identify the power generation that shut down. While prices rose across the Ercot grid, prices are trending even higher at the North hub, according to grid data.

Electricity consumption was 43,068 megawatts at 4:15 p.m. The grid operator expects demand to peak at 43,223 megawatts.

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