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ERCOT breaks peak demand record third time

20110803_OutletRecord power use expected again Thursday; Conservation needed 3-7 p.m.

AUSTIN, Aug.3, 2011 – For the third consecutive day, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), system operator for the state’s bulk transmission grid, set a new electricity demand record – 68,294 megawatts (MW) today between 4 and 5 p.m.

“We are expecting another record-high electricity demand tomorrow, so we are continuing our call for conservation between 3-7 p.m.,” said Kent Saathoff, vice president of system planning and operations. “We do want to thank consumers and businesses who reduced their electricity consumption today following initiation of a level 1 emergency alert,” Saathoff said.

The level 1 emergency was declared at 2:50 pm today; operators cancelled the emergency procedures at 6:10 p.m.

The new peak demand exceeds yesterday’s new record demand by 365 MW and last year’s record of 65,776 MW (Aug. 23, 2010) by 2,518 MW.  One megawatt of power is enough electricity to power about 200 homes in Texas during hot weather when air conditioners are running for long periods of time.

Wind generation contributed approximately 2,000 MW during the peak hour.

The peak demand for Thursday is expected to be more than 68,200 MW.

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