Wind turbines stand above the plains north of Amarillo, Texas, U.S., March 14, 2017.
Texas power prices soared 20,000% Wednesday evening amid another brutal heat wave.
Spot electricity prices topped $5,000 per megawatt-hour, up more than 200 times from Wednesday morning.
The state’s grid operator issued its second-highest energy emergency, then later said conditions returned to normal.
Texas power prices soared 20,000% Wednesday evening amid another brutal heat wave that forced the state’s grid operator to issue an emergency alert.
By 8:20 pm local time Wednesday, spot electricity prices had topped $5,000 per megawatt-hour, up more than 200 times from that morning, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Earlier on Wednesday night, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) issued an “Energy Emergency Alert 2,” but hours later said conditions had returned to normal. Still, it marked the first time since the deep freeze in 2021 that ERCOT issued its second-highest alert.
Spot power prices remained high the following day, topping $4,000 per megawatt-hour for more than an hour on Thursday evening.
At ERCOT’s request, the Biden administration declared a power emergency in Texas on Thursday, waiving some air-pollution rules so generators in the state could produce more electricity.
And forecasts for Friday put high temperatures above 100 degrees in major cities like Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.
This summer has seen brutal heat waves for Texas and large swaths of the US, as well as Europe and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere.
The Texas power market is deregulated and on its own electricity grid. But while it has experienced massive spikes in demand this summer, supplies have held up.
That’s due in part to gains in renewable energy. Texas generated about 40% of its power from natural gas last year, with wind accounting for about 25% and solar energy also contributing, according to ERCOT.