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Electric demand continues to grow throughout the Electric Reliability Council of Texas region, which represents about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. According to ERCOT, “demand growth remains especially strong in West Texas due to oil and gas development and along the coast where new industrial facilities are being constructed.”
ERCOT released its final summer report, which said “the agency expects that it may need to use emergency alerts this summer in order to keep up with the demand for electricity.” Once alerts are issued by ERCOT, they can take advantage of additional resources that are only available during scarcity conditions. If that doesn’t work, ERCOT will issue public alerts asking for conservation. If neither of those options work, ERCOT will be forced to implement rotating outages across the state.
Medina EC offers programs to encourage consumers to reduce energy use during summer peak hours—3–7 p.m., June through September. Load management is a program offered to members on the irrigation rate class. By participating in this program, irrigators allow the co-op to shut off power to their irrigation pumps. In 2018, the load management program shed an average of 20.5 MW throughout the summer with a high of 32.9 megawatts on August 7. Not only does the load management program help reduce energy demand on the grid, it also helps us save on power costs the following year. By reducing our demand on the system during peak hours, it helps us buy energy at a lower cost.
Members not on the irrigation rate class interested in helping reduce energy use this summer are encouraged to sign up for the Do Your Part program by texting ENERGY to 830.423.5032. This program will send energy saving tips on high demand days.
These programs are just two ways the co-op helps encourage energy conservation during summer months. If ERCOT predictions hold to be true, even with our current conservation programs, it is likely they will have to issue emergency conservation alerts this summer.