Texas power grid continues to struggle with sky-high demand amid major heat wave

Solar power reportedly hampered by cloud cover; turbines stopped by low winds.
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Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas
(Joe Raedle/Getty)

The Texas energy grid continued to buckle under soaring demand on Thursday as a major heatwave drove up usage rates to historic levels. 

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas had already issued several requests by Thursday for residents to conserve electricity usage during peak hours by means such as turning up air conditioners a few degrees and refraining from using appliances like dishwashers. 

By Wednesday the grid's electrical resources had become "far tighter" than earlier in the week, Stoic Energy Consulting President Doug Lewin told local media.

The state's power grid was also reportedly facing tightened resources due to cloud cover in west Texas hampering the collection of solar energy. 

Texas has reportedly tripled the amount of solar energy it utilizes in the past eighteen months or so, while wind power has become an important source of energy for the state as well. 

Fossil fuels still constitute the lion's share of electric power generated in the state. 

This is not the first time Texas's power grid has been stretched to the breaking point during extreme weather: The state saw record demand for power during a major cold spell in early 2021, with residents often losing power during freezing temperatures as plunging temps sent usage skyrocketing.