Texas power grid manager expects to avoid summer blackouts
By DAVID KOENIG
DALLAS (AP) - Electricity demand in Texas is expected to hit record levels this summer, and with a thin margin of reserve power, the operator of the state's grid says it may have to ask businesses and consumers to conserve.
Officials at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, are not ruling out rolling blackouts, although they say other measures are more likely including importing power from other grids.
ERCOT predicted Wednesday that demand will rise as high as 74,853 megawatts. That's 1,300 megawatts higher than the record set last July 19.
The grid operator predicts that demand will grow at an above-normal rate of 2.5% to 3% every year through 2022.
Demand is booming partly because of growing West Texas oil and gas operations and industrial development along the Gulf Coast.
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