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Texas, California warn about electrical outages as temperature increases

Grid operators in California and Texas had to deal with outages this past year to prevent their power systems from having a widespread collapse.

Updated: June 16, 2021 - 4:10pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


With a heat wave blanket the west, Texas and California power grid operators are warning customers are warning customers about how blasting their air conditioner could lead to outages. 

The California electric grid operator warned consumers that the peak temperatures in interior California are predicted to reach 115 degrees Fahrenheit throughout this week.

According to Reuters, the operator also warned customers the biggest drain on the energy supplies could be Thursday night when solar power is no longer available so they need to conserve energy ahead of time. 

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates most of the state's power system, predicts the demand for electricity will in the coming days break the all-time June record that was set Monday.

Texas’s power grid is separate from the rest of the country's so it can only gain small amounts of power from other grids to handle its greater-than-normal demand by people. The grid nearly collapsed during a cold snap in February. 

The California Independent System Operator (ISO), which is in control of most of the state’s electrical system and is getting 13% of its power from other states, predicted there will be a rise in megawatts used from Wednesday to Thursday. ISO predicts the demand for several days this week will exceed the power supplies. 

Temperatures in other states such as Arizona and Utah are also facing the consequences of the heat this summer.