ERCOT Pleads for More Conservation

New record set for winter peak demand

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011  |  Updated 12:52 PM CDT
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ERCOT Pleads for More Conservation

The operator of the Texas electric power distribution grid has asked for more conservation during lingering cold weather.

An advisory Thursday from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas urged conservation during peak demand times, though a later advisory canceled the "Power Watch" status most of the area had been under during the record-breaking demand in the last two weeks.

“While it is always a good idea to conserve electricity when you can, we are cancelling the ‘Power Watch” at this time,” said ERCOT CEO Trip Doggett in a press release.  “We appreciate the efforts of the consumers to reduce their electricity consumption during these recent critical days of severe weather.”

ERCOT said they set a new record for winter peak demand with 57,282 megawatts (MW) between 7 and 8 a.m. on Thursday -- nearly a thousand megawatts higher than Feb. 2nd's record-breaking demand.

The all-time peak demand for ERCOT's region was 65, 776 MW on Aug. 23, 2010.

ERCOT said additional reserves have been lined up and the agency is not planning more statewide rotating outages.

ERCOT-affiliated utilities last week were required to do controlled power outages, lasting about 15 minutes, to keep up with increased electrical demand during a winter storm.

Oncor utility crews worked Wednesday and Thursday to restore electricity to about 4,400 customers, mainly in West Texas and southern parts of the state, after recent icy conditions.

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