TEXAS ELECTRIC CUSTOMERS ARE ON A RECORD-BREAKING POWER USAGE SPREE Texas customers shattered the state’s previous all-time 71,110 megawatt high for power usage last Wednesday and Thursday, reports the Chronicle’s L.M. Sixel. And today, they’ve done it again: 73,217 megawatts is the current demand, according to ERCOT, the operator that supplies most of the state’s energy. (It’s expected to increase through the late afternoon, peaking at around 5 p.m.) That’s enough juice to power, well, the entire state of Texas during a heatwave. But is it enough to overwhelm the state’s proudly independent power infrastructure? Unlikely, says at least one expert at UT’s Energy Institute. Although 2 NRG subsidiaries did send out emails last week pleading with their customers to ease up on the A/C and take other watt-saving measures. [Houston Chronicle] Photo of electric lines between 59 and Westpark Dr.: Swamplox inbox
…and yet i’m still sitting in my cubicle wearing a pullover because the a/c is too damn cold
Should I turn off my electric machine which makes ozone and CO2 for carbon debits?
Fun fact: Massachusetts has more solar capacity than all of Texas. Another fun fact, California has over ten times the solar capacity than Texas. With all the hand wringing every year about whether our grid can keep up with summer demand, you would think that we would be putting solar panels on every roof in Texas. People spend way more money on all sorts of frivolities for their homes (outdoor kitchen, six burner stove, media room, etc.) than it would cost to put in a solar panel. And during the summer you can charge up your Tesla pretty much for free.
I am often calculating the payback on solar installation. So far, no sale, Blame cheep NG.
@Oldschool: Exactly, if it makes economic sense to put solar panels on residential homes why don’t we see more of it? If someone can show me how it will save me money I’ll gladly do it. My electric bill is less than my cable tv bill so it’s going to need to be very cheap.
Old School: A rational idea – of course, we do have all of that open space in West Texas so solar farms could be deployed and add permanent grid capacity for future population growth.
@Old School: Fun facts: MWh from “Utility Scale Facility Net Generation from Renewable Sources Excluding Hydroelectric” in 2017:
Massachusetts: 240 thousand
California: 5,247 thousand
Texas: 7,875 thousand
It’s not cost effective to do residential solar. It’s cheaper for the power company to have solar farm and you buy that electricity from them, than for you to install them on your roof.
Solar isn’t heavily subsidised in Texas. That’s why you see less of it.
Renewable energy isn’t just solar. Texas has more than 3 times the wind-power generation of California (20 gigawatts vs. 6) , and nearly 1/4 of the entire country’s. Wind accounts for about 12% of our power. We just need more transmission lines as most of the generation is in west Texas and the Valley.
My parents live out of state where there are fewer wide open spaces that TX. Their electric company essentially paid them to install solar panels. Minus that, there really is no incentive for homeowners (unless perhaps on new builds?), especially here, where electricity is pretty cheap. Solar farms, on the other hand, benefit the electric company and can be built in areas that have not been overly developed.
I would use solar panels to COOL my pool down below 90 degrees. Now to install a heat/cool pump.
There was a blackout in my area, East End of Downtown, that night (July 23, 2018). We were without power for nearly 2 hours. Per a neighbor, Centerpoint relayed that over 900 homes were without power. There wasn’t a light on within visibility. Suddenly there was silence, except for my scream of “Nooooo!” that apparently was heard all the way down the block.
I called Centerpoint, whose automated message stated “A power outage has been reported in your area. The estimated time for repair is 11:45[pm]” Power was indeed restored at about that time, tho can’t say that we enjoyed the heat through the wait….
Putting solar panels on my roof would cost about $25k and take 10+ years to pay for itself, according to an online calculator (1600 sq ft house). This could be an option depending on your timeline, but not mine as at happens. Expect the economics to improve.
@ Old School: A key difference between installing solar panels on one’s roof and something like an outdoor kitchen or media room is that solar panels are an expensive substitute for something that can be had at lower cost and which you’ll have one way or the other. One does not experience any real improvement in lifestyle, aside from bragging rights if one happens to be a smug asshole owing to their social identity as an environmentalist or a prepper. By contrast, the other things you suggested provide for home improvements that facilitate a better lifestyle — one that can be subsidized by relatively lower-cost electricity from the grid.