Tesla has asked owners in Texas not to charge their cars during a heat wave to help avoid blackouts and overloading the state’s failing power grid.
The alert comes as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) called on residents to conserve energy. They have asked the state’s residents to refrain from using electricity from appliances and more to stop the grid from being pushed to near-emergency conditions.
Tesla stepped up to help the state with a new in-car alert to owners in the state, encouraging them not to charge during peak hours.
“A heat wave is expected to impact the grid in Texas over the next few days. The grid operator recommends to avoid charging during peak hours between 3 pm and 8 pm, if possible, to help statewide efforts to manage demand”, an in-car alert sent to Tesla owners reads, as reported by Electrek.
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ERCOT has also asked that people in Texas avoid running appliances between 2 pm and 8 pm. Reuters reported the state’s risk of losing its power reserves “with no market solution available.”
The ERCOT website indicated late Tuesday that it only had about 3,600 megawatts of reserves, which is enough to power three-quarters of a million homes. The lack of power reserves is a genuine concern for more than 26 million state residents.
The state is expected to register temperatures of more than 100 degrees in the coming days. The heat also stops wind power from being generated in Texas, which usually provides the state with a quarter of its electricity.
Lesser argued that due to the lack of reliable utility-scale battery storage infrastructure, forcing a green transition will lead to more power outages.
“The reality is: we’re going to have to get used to more blackouts as long as we continue down this green energy path,” Lesser said. “The technology simply isn’t there. You’re going to either have more blackouts or more requirements to conserve energy.”
Lesser pointed to the lack of reliability of wind energy during the summer.
“The least windy time of year is summer when electricity demand in Texas peaks,” Lesser said. “So, you’ve got a resource that is at its highest in the spring and fall when electricity demand is lowest. That means the wind as a resource has a low economic value because you want something that’s available when demand is highest.”
“So, it’s not surprising at all that Texas, which has the largest wind capacity of any state in the country, is seeing this problem,” he continued.
Lesser pointed out that the U.S. utility-scale battery storage infrastructure is currently insufficient. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the country has about 4,605 megawatts of total battery storage but regularly consumes more than 400,000 megawatts daily.
Pushing too quickly for green energy will lead to a lack of power and a direct impact on most Americans.