June 16 (Reuters) - The Texas power grid operator urged homes and businesses to keep conserving energy this week and projected electric demand would break the June record again in coming days as consumers continue to crank up their air conditioners to escape a brutal heatwave.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates most of the state’s power system, said the issuance of conservation notices is a common practice and prevents the grid from entering emergency conditions.
“Conservation efforts combined with the changes in procedures and processes implemented ... following the winter storm prevented the possibility of rotating outages,” so far this week, the grid operator said in a release.
In February, ERCOT was forced to impose rotating outages as extreme cold froze natural gas pipes and wind turbines, leaving millions of customers without electricity - some for days.
ERCOT said demand for power in the grid reached 69,943 megawatts (MW) on Monday, breaking the June record, and is expected to reach 70,391 MW on June 17 and 70,421 MW on June 21.
One megawatt typically powers around 200 homes on a summer day.
To meet that peak and have enough reserves in case something unexpected goes wrong with power plants or transmission lines, ERCOT has said it expects to have about 86,862 MW of supply available this summer. On Monday, however, the grid said an unusually large 11,000 MW of generation was out of service.
Those outages helped boost real-time power prices in ERCOT to over $1,900 per megawatt hour (MWh) during two 15-minute intervals on Monday.
On Tuesday, however, real-time prices only reached the $500s per MWh during one 15-minute interval after roughly 1,200 MW of generation returned to service Monday night following repairs.
ERCOT said “power plant owners continue repairs of unexpected equipment failures.”
Reporting by Scott DiSavino, Editing by Nick Zieminski