Electricity

Rooftop air conditioning units
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Update at 5:11 p.m.: ERCOT says operations have returned to normal, but it is still encouraging conservation. 

Our original post follows: 

For the second time in a week, Texas' electric grid-operator has asked folks to conserve energy as it faces record demand during the current heatwave.

A wind farm on the Texas Gulf Coast
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

For the first time ever, wind has surpassed coal as an energy source in Texas. 

Data released this month by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas shows wind created 22 percent of the electricity used in the first half of the year, edging out coal by 1 percentage point.

The control room at ERCOT headquarters
Julia Reihs / KUT

This summer, there's a higher likelihood than ever that Texas might not have enough electricity to go around. If you turn on the AC and nothing happens, you’ll want to know why. It helps to remember legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The announcement that three coal power plants in Texas plan to close next year is likely good news for the environment, but bad news for the people who worked at the plants. As for what it means for your electric bill if you live in Austin, that’s complicated.

That was basically the message Austin Energy, the city’s publicly owned electric utility, delivered this month to a city oversight committee.

Robert W. Hart / The Texas Tribune

Energy company Luminant says it’s shutting down three of its coal-fired power plants in Texas by early next year. The sudden closure of so many plants is unprecedented. That's not the only thing unexpected about the closures, though.