In the midst of yet another intense heat wave, Texas power costs increased 20,000% on Wednesday evening, prompting the state’s system operator to issue an emergency alert. Spot electricity rates reached $5,000 per megawatt-hour by 8:20 pm local time on Wednesday, more than 200 times higher than that morning.
Texas Power Prices
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) had earlier on Wednesday night issued an “Energy Emergency Alert 2,” but it later stated that everything had been back to normal. However, it was the first time ERCOT had issued its second-highest alert since the severe freeze in 2021.
Here is a Twitter post related to Texas Power Prices:
Texas power prices soar 20,000% as brutal heat wave sets off emergency https://t.co/odwC3JXadP
— Insider Business (@BusinessInsider) September 9, 2023
The following day, spot power costs rose to over $4,740 per megawatt-hour for more than an hour on Thursday. The Biden administration declared a power emergency in Texas on Thursday at ERCOT’s request, suspending some air pollution regulations to allow the state’s generators to produce more electricity.
Additionally, peak temperatures are expected to reach over 100 degrees on Friday in well-known locations including Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
Texas, a sizable portion of the US, Europe, and other regions of the Northern Hemisphere have all experienced devastating heat waves this summer.
Texas power costs increased by 6,000% in a single day last month. And in June, in advance of an earlier heat wave, power prices doubled in a single day.
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The electricity grid in Texas is independent and unregulated. However, despite this summer’s sharp increases in demand, supplies have remained adequate.
Gains in renewable energy are partly responsible for that. Texas generated roughly 40% of its energy from natural gas last year, with the remaining energy coming from solar energy, wind energy, and about 25% from wind.
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