Grid operator says 4 new plants will ease demand

AUSTIN (AP) — The operator of the electric distribution grid for most of Texas says the launch this summer of new generating plants will ease high demand in the coming months that could require conservation measures.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said Wednesday that one plant should be online in July with the other three by Aug. 1. The plants are located in Bell County in Central Texas, Grayson County in far North Texas, Harris County, and Llano County in Hill Country.

Peak demand this summer is expected to exceed 68,000 megawatts but ERCOT officials say the national gas-fired plants will generate more than 2,100 megawatts. One megawatt is enough to power about 200 homes during peak periods.

ERCOT’s record peak of 68,305 megawatts occurred in August 2011.

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