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Power Blows Past $9,000 Cap in Texas as Heat Triggers Emergency

  • State grid operator expects to break Monday’s record demand
  • Heat to peak on Tuesday, after temperatures top 100 degrees
Beating the heat, a group sits in the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels, Texas.

Beating the heat, a group sits in the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels, Texas.

Photographer: Eric Gay/AP Photo 

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Electricity prices briefly surged past a $9,000 a megawatt-hour price cap in Texas as extreme heat sent power demand skyrocketing and forced the state’s grid operator to declare an emergency.

As temperatures in Dallas climbed to 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39 Celsius), the Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued an emergency alert, calling on all power plants to ramp up and asking customers to conserve. At one point on Tuesday afternoon, the region had just 2,121 megawatts left in power reserves, less than 3% of total demand on the system.