CHARLESTON, South Carolina, June 22 (Reuters) - The Texas electric grid on Monday set a new June peak-hour record for electric consumption as afternoon temperatures flirted with 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) in the state’s three largest cities, according to preliminary grid data.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said demand reached 60,452 megawatts in the hour ending at 5 p.m. CDT (2200 GMT), surpassing a record of 59,642 MW set last June.
Peak-hour demand is forecast to build as the week progresses as afternoon temperatures reach triple-digits in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, 5 to 6 degrees warmer than normal, according to AccuWeather.com.
Tuesday’s peak demand may exceed 61,500, according to ERCOT, the state’s primary grid operator, while Wednesday’s and Thursday’s outlook calls for demand to exceed 62,000 MW, possibly shattering ERCOT’s all-time hourly record of 62,339 MW set in August 2006.
Texas typically sees the highest power use in July and August when air conditioning demand soars.
ERCOT expects 2009 peak summer demand of 63,491 MW under normal weather conditions, an amount revised downward twice due to the economic recession.
The 2009 projection is nearly 4.2 percent below 2008’s forecast but 2 percent above last year’s actual demand peak which was trimmed by cool weather.
The grid operator will update Monday’s preliminary data later.
Reporting by Eileen O'Grady; Editing by Richard Chang