(Bloomberg) -- Texas Governor Greg Abbott said his state will need to grow its power supply capacity by as much as 15% annually to keep up with rising demand from homes and businesses.
“For every business relocating here, there is an increased demand from our power grid,” Abbott, a Republican, said at the NAPE Summit energy conference in Houston on Wednesday (February 7). “We need to be prepared to increase our power supply capability by 10-15% per year.”
The second-most populous state has been working to shore up its electricity grid ever since a 2021 winter storm triggered widespread blackouts that left the state paralyzed for days and resulted in more than 200 deaths.
Power consumption in Texas has soared to new heights in recent years from more people moving to the state, the expanding economy, and increasing power demand from oil rigs to data centers. Electricity use peaked at 85.5 gigawatts in August, a 14% jump from the 2019 high.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or Ercot, which manages the grid serving most of the state, had about 147 gigawatts of installed capacity last summer, of which wind and solar accounted for about 36%. Renewable power has grown rapidly in recent years, but the grid has been struggling to lure new gas generation that could back up the variability of wind and solar.