Amid extreme heat across the Southwest, electricity grids largely avoided blackouts over the weekend as emergency measures and demand reduction (both voluntary and involuntary) kept electricity needs within the amount available. The record-breaking heat sent demand skyrocketing as air conditioners strained to keep up and in some cases utilities remotely raised the temperature of customers’ thermostats. Broken down gas- and coal-fired power plants in Texas took gigawatts of power offline and made the grid crunch in Texas worse.
“If you ask a Republican if wind underperformed, of course they would say wind underperformed,” Katie Bays, an analyst at FiscalNote Markets told Bloomberg. Wind farms tend not to produce as much power in hot weather, but “compared to my expectations, wind performed as expected,” she said. (Heat: (Reuters, Washington Post $, NPR, Washington Post $, Washington Post $, Washington Post $; Heat, photos: (Axios, Washington Post $; Grid stress and Texas energy: Texas Tribune, Bloomberg $, Canary Media; Demand reduction: USA Today; Climate Signals background: Extreme heat and heatwaves)