Tesla tries to help the Texas power grid in the midst of a heat wave with an in-car alert

Tesla is trying to help the grid in its new state of Texas as rising temperatures lead to a new record demand for electricity in the state.

The automaker is pushing a new in-car alert to encourage off-peak charging.

Texas has a poorly fragile grid and has problems supporting peak electricity demand.

The problems mostly surfaced in the winter amid cold fronts, but the state’s electrical grid now doesn’t handle early summer temperatures very well.

The Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) announced that six power generation facilities were shut down yesterday.

In a statement published yesterday, ERCOT commented on Texans’ demand to limit their electricity use between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.:

“With unusually hot weather rising to record demand across Texas, ERCOT continues to work closely with the energy industry to make sure Texas has the power they need. This afternoon, six power plants were shut down resulting in a loss of Approximately 2,900 megawatts of electricity. At this time, all available generation resources are operating. We ask Texans to conserve energy when possible by setting their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher and avoid using large appliances (such as dishwashers, washers, dryers ) during peak hours between 3 pm and 8 pm during the weekend.”

Interestingly enough, Tesla picked up the statement and shared the advice for its fleet of electric vehicle owners in Texas.

In a new in-car notice, the automaker recommended owners not to charge during peak hours (via Karlan Mitchell on Reddit):

“A heat wave is expected to affect the network in Texas over the next few days. The network operator recommends avoiding charging during peak hours between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., if possible, to aid statewide efforts to manage demand.”

While Tesla in Texas is best known for its Gigafactory in Austin and moved its headquarters there last year, the company also has important plans to help the state’s electric grid.

The company has deployed a massive energy storage project consisting of 81 Megapacks and plans to deploy more residential and solar storage units.

Tesla is installing solar roofs and electric walls in new homes at a giant new housing development in Austin, Texas and its energy division, Tesla Energy, is expected to do more on that front since Texas officially entered the mostly liberalized energy market.

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