ERCOT asks Texans to conserve electricity through Friday


TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which controls power in most of Texas and made headlines for failures during the winter storm, is asking residents to conserve electricity through this entire week.

Temperatures are surging across the state and ERCOT estimates that demand may exceed capacity during the hot afternoon hours.

“We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service. This is unusual for this early in the summer season.”

ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson

On hot summer days, the summer Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy estimates a typical range of outages from thermal generation is about 3,600 megawatts.

“Today’s peak load forecast may exceed 73,000 MW. The peak demand record for June is 69,123 MW set on June 27, 2018 between 4 and 5 p.m.” ERCOT said.

During a telephone briefing, Warren Lasher, ERCOT’s senior director of system planning, said ERCOT should be able to release more information Tuesday about when power plants will come back online.

“Today’s peak load forecast may exceed 73,000 MW. The peak demand record for June is 69,123 MW set on June 27, 2018 between 4 and 5 p.m.,” ERCOT said.

Joshua Rhodes, a research associate with the University of Texas at Austin and Webber Energy Group, shared his reaction to ERCOT issuing this call to conserve energy — the second time it’s happened since February’s deadly winter storms.

“To see it happening while temperatures are a little bit lower than they normally are is a bit concerning, but given how many power plants are offline, it makes sense,” Rhodes said, “but I mean it’s something we’ve got to figure out. If anything we know, the summer’s only going to get hotter.”

Steps to conserve energy

ERCOT is asking people to do the following to help reduce demand:

  • Set thermostats to 78° or higher
  • Turn off lights and pool pumps
  • Avoid using large appliances (washers, dryers, ovens)
  • “If you don’t need something – we are asking you to turn it off and unplug it if possible,” ERCOT said.

The fallout from the mass outages catalyzed a series of big changes for the council: including director resignations, a state investigation, and the termination of President/CEO Bill Magness.

ERCOT has been under national scrutiny since the February winter storm outages that left millions in the dark and in the cold for days.

This is a developing story and KETK will be making updates to it.

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