ENERGY EMERGENCY: ERCOT can’t keep up with demand; expect rolling blackouts

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AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) — ERCOT said Monday it can no longer meet the demand for power in Texas as people turn up the heat to keep warm in record breaking cold temperatures.

ERCOT is initiating rotating outages because the extreme winter is forcing generating units offline.

Rotating outages primarily affect residential neighborhoods and small businesses and are typically limited to 10 to 45 minutes before being rotated to another location, ERCOT said.

Rotating outages could continue for days.

Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers, issued a Level 3 warning “because electric demand is very high right now, and supplies can’t keep up.”

“Every grid operator and every electric company is fighting to restore power right now,” said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness.

“Reserves have dropped below 1,000 MW and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes; as a result, ERCOT has ordered transmission companies to reduce demand on the system,” said the company statement

“This is typically done through rotating outages, which are controlled, temporary interruptions of electric service. This type of demand reduction is only used as a last resort to preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole,” the statement said.

“In these situations, each utility is required to lower the demand on its system based on its percentage of the historic ERCOT peak demand,” the statement said. “While each utility is responsible for determining how to implement the required demand reduction, most utilities use rotating outages for this purpose.”

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