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ERCOT CEO says electricity grid needs to increase capacity to keep up with demand

Ercot grid

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — ERCOT CEO Pablo Vegas just testified before a Texas Senate committee that there’s a 12% chance we will see rolling blackouts in some parts of the state this summer.

Vegas testified that the electricity grid needs to increase 76% in the next six years to properly serve Texans, a much higher estimate than he has previously given.

He blames two industries for more than half of the grid’s added capacity needs: new artificial intelligence data centers and cryptocurrency companies, which use thousands of computers to create digital currency through virtual transactions.

Texas has become a destination for the cryptocurrency business, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is now saying state officials need to look into them, asking if the two industries create enough jobs to justify the amount of energy they use.

“It really is an immediate need. I actually worry more about the transmission delivery,” Rob Gramlich, a former advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy, explained. “There’s already congestion within Texas and an inability to deliver the power sources that already exist to the end user.”

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