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Here’s what Texas energy experts expect for the summer

By: Michael Theis |

Electric Reliability Council of Texas officials briefed the media on the state of Texas’ electric grid Wednesday just as the heat is beginning to rise across the state.

Weather remains the biggest driver of energy consumption in Texas, and the fact that this is expected to be a cooler summer than in recent years means that demand on the state energy grid likely won’t be overwhelming.

For this summer, ERCOT officials project that peak demand will max out around 67,986 megawatts, particularly in the late afternoons and early evenings as the temperatures hit their high marks. Overall, Texas has 77,684 megawatts of electric capacity, leaving plenty of room for operating reserves.

The oil and fracking slowdown hasn’t yet put a damper on Texas’ overall energy consumption, but it has slowed the growth of energy demand in West Texas, according to ERCOT officials.