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Excessive Heat Warning: What it means for the grid & those working outside

Posted at 11:40 PM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-09 07:56:35-04

All eyes are on the grid with the excessive heat advisory stretching into the weekend but the heat can be especially dangerous for those working outside.

Working in the heat is nothing new for Axel Tayson a Manager at Clark Roofing.

"I’ve grown up in a desert climate so I’ve kind of acclimated myself to it," said Tayson. "I’ve been on the roof with plenty of people who can’t really stay up for longer than five minutes."

Roofing is not an easy job, especially in the summer months. With triple digits temperatures in the forecast for the near future, Tayson and the Clark Roofing team have been preparing to get the job done while keeping staff safe.

"Working in the heat, you can experience heat exhaustion and heat strokes. We had to adjust our timeframe on when we were going to work. So, we’re starting a lot earlier than we normally would somewhere around 5:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. so we can get them out before that real heat of the day starts at 3 o’clock."

According to energy experts, the peak hours for demand hit between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

"ERCOT has been working to make sure that we have excess capacity available to meet whatever load conditions we have," said Bill Flores the Vice Chair of ERCOT.

Flores said he expects to see the demand climb throughout the weekend; however, he does not expect any rolling blackouts. Others believe blackouts are a real possibility.

Ed Hirs, an Energy Fellow at the University of Houston said, "If we come up short on the wind and solar, we do not have enough natural gas, coal, and nuclear power plants to cover the deficit. If we have any of those breaks down we’re going to wind up with rolling blackouts in some portions of the state."

"It’s an infinitesimal possibility that that could happen. It’s very very unlikely. Number one, we have a lower industrial demand for or commercial demand on the weekend. Even though we will be setting record demand for weekend usage, it's not likely. The reserves look pretty good. If we all act responsibly then we’re going to be fine getting through this," said Flores.

Flores said Texans should monitor their thermostats and refrain from doing things that require a lot of energy during peak hours, like washing clothes.

And if you do find yourself outside, or even on a roof, "Hydration is probably one of the biggest things," said Tayson.