Tesla drivers told not to charge and jeopardize electric grid

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Tesla asks Texans not to charge their car to avoid overloading national grid

By Adam Smith
July 14, 2022
The Independent, UK

Tesla has told users in Texas not to charge their cars during a heat wave.

The alert comes as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the state’s grid, is calling on residents to conserve energy – in order to stop the grid being pushed to near-emergency conditions.

“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 3pm and 8pm, if possible, to help statewide efforts to manage demand”, an in-car alert sent to Tesla owners reads, as reported by Electrek.

ERCOT recommends that people in Texas avoid running appliances between 2pm and 8pm. There is a risk of it losing its power reserves "with no market solution available", Reuters reports.

Its website showed the operator entered late afternoon on Tuesday with about 3,600 megawatts of reserves, which is only enough to power three-quarters of a million homes.

One Tesla owner tweeted a photo in which Tesla offered supercharger rates up to 50 percent off for drivers willing to wait until after 8pm to charge their vehicle.

Temperatures in the heat are reaching 38 degrees Celsius, and it is expected that the alert will be active over the next few days. The heat is also stopping wind power from being generated in Texas, which usually provides the state with a quarter of its electricity.

Bitcoin miners in Texas have also had to shut down operations due to the heat.

“There are over 1,000 megawatts worth of Bitcoin mining load that responded to ERCOTs conservation request by turning off their machines to conserve energy for the grid.” Lee Bratcher, president of Texas Blockchain Council told Bloomberg.

“This represents nearly all industrial scale Bitcoin mining load in Texas and allows for over 1 per cent of total grid capacity to be pushed back onto the grid for retail and commercial use.”