Valley residents brace for hot summer temperatures

3 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Monday, June 05 2023 Jun 5, 2023 June 05, 2023 12:23 PM June 05, 2023 in News - Local

The Rio Grande Valley is only just starting to heat up, with the first day of summer just weeks away.

Harlingen resident Luis Garcia says for now, spending the day outdoors is bearable 

"As much as I want my kids to be outside, we got to bring them in. That means more air conditioning going on in the house and trying to keep them cool in whatever ways we can find," Garcia said.

Garcia lives at home with his wife and five children. Once it hits those triple digits, day to day activities around his home will start to look different.

"Especially now that they're at home, now that school's out, they're there. It's constantly trying to stay cool in the house so the temperatures, we're always cranking up the air conditioner," Garcia said.

Texas A&M professor Thomas Overbye is the director of the Texas A&M University's smart grid center. He researches electricity and how it reaches homes. 

Overbye says it will be a record year for electric usage this summer. The reason, he says, is because Texas is growing.

"We're continually adding people here so as we get more people the electric grid naturally goes up and that's in contrast to other places in the U.S. that are now growing as fast as Texas," Overbye said.

Luckily, Overbye says the state is generating more power through natural gas, solar and wind generation. Overbye believes the added resources will help handle the added load to cool down homes and businesses. He says Texas leads the country in solar and wind energy.

"We get a lot of electricity from wind, and of course you only get that if the wind is blowing," Overbye said. "Likewise, we've got rapidly growing solar PV capacity, and of course that doesn't work when it's cloudy out."

Overybye says that causes concerns.

"The times that we could run into problems would be on hot days, when the electric day is high, and we don't have much wind, and perhaps it's cloudy in the locations where we have solar," Overbye said.

Now, it's a waiting game to see if the grid will hold up or melt in the summer heat.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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