Summer heat puts stress on Texas power grids
The high temperatures hit Lubbock in mid-July. It caused ERCOT and Southwest Power Pool to issue emergency alerts to customers. The alerts are sent out every year when there's multiple 100 degree days.
"All of our circuits and substations are going to be operating at max capacity," Matt Rose with Lubbock Power and Light said.
ERCOT and Southwest Power Pool are the two power grid sources in Texas. It sent out alerts to customers to monitor how much electricity they use during peak hours. Those hours are from 3-7 P.M..
"If you're not going to be at home turn up your thermostat four to six degrees, shut your blinds to your house, we ask to do laundry after the hours of 8 P.M., be aware of cooking indoors and stuff like that that's going to heat up your home," Rose suggested.
Rose said it's the same advice LP&L would give customers to be energy efficient.
"The less electricity that you're using during these peak hours, while it helps reliability, it also means less electricity on your electric bill at the end of the month," Rose said.
According to Matt Rose, between June and September, an average customer uses 1,350 kilowatt hours per month. That's double the average for the rest of the year. Rose said the systems in Lubbock have been monitored and worked well all summer.
"We've had a couple of outages related to weather we had an outage related to an equipment failure but it wasn't heat related," he said.
Over the summer, Rose said LP&L has been making sure there's enough electricity to serve the growing city. That's why there has been so much construction around town.
"We're building new transmission lines coming in that will be the transmission lines that allow us to hook up to ERCOT," Rose explained.
According to plans, Lubbock plans to hook up to the ERCOT power grid in the summer of 2021.