Texas's third-world power grid can't keep up with demand as summer heat approaches, and instead of dying from freezing cold and no electricity to run water pumps, you can now die in sweltering heat with no cooling.
The operator of Texas' power grid asked residents to conserve electricity Friday after six power plants went offline amid soaring temperatures.
Brad Jones, CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, said in a statement that the company had lost roughly 2,900 megawatts of electricity — or enough to power nearly 600,000 homes, the Texas Tribune reported.
Jones referenced the unseasonably hot weather, saying it was driving the demand for power across the state. Temperatures approaching 100 degrees were forecast from Austin to Dallas over the weekend and into next week.
Jones did not say why the plants went offline, and a spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment Friday evening.
The executive asked customers to set their thermostats to 78 degrees and avoid using large appliances in the afternoon and early evening.
The non-profit energy organization, which manages power for 90 percent of Texas' electrical grid, faced blistering criticism last year after blackouts left millions without power for days during subfreezing temperatures.
The main Texas grid is an island, not connected to the country’s two major power grids. That is by design, the result of state leaders’ actions decades ago to avoid federal regulation and encourage free-market competition. Multiple state agencies, as well as a nonprofit organization, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, govern the grid’s operations, writing rules based on laws passed by state legislators.
The legislators responded to February’s disaster by passing measures to improve the power system’s preparedness for winter. They established weatherization mandates but left it to state regulators to implement them.