ERCOT Issues a "Power Watch"

State Hopes to Avoid Another Electricity Emergency

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Tuesday, Feb 8, 2011  |  Updated 10:15 PM CDT
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ERCOT, the <a title=Electric Reliability Council of Texas, is urging homeowners and businesses to conserve electricity to avoid another round of rolling black outs, like the ones last week that left homeowners from Fort Worth to Frisco in the dark, and the cold." />

Ellen Goldberg, NBCDFW.com

ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, is urging homeowners and businesses to conserve electricity to avoid another round of rolling black outs, like the ones last week that left homeowners from Fort Worth to Frisco in the dark, and the cold.

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Electric companies are powering up for another arctic blast.

"We’re on standby for really just about anything right now," said Oncor spokesperson, Jeamy Molina. "We just have to see what happens."

The state's electric grid operator is predicting Texas will set a new winter use record Thursday morning.

ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, is urging homeowners and businesses to conserve electricity to avoid another round of rolling black outs, like the ones last week that left homeowners from Fort Worth to Frisco in the dark, and the cold.

"As soon as they (ERCOT) tell us, it happens immediately," said Molina. "Just like last time, within minutes we had to start doing it, so we are letting everyone know it's a possibility."

Last week, 82 of the state's 550 power plants unexpectedly failed in the frigid temperatures.

ERCOT said it's paid for an additional 3,000 megawatts of power plant capacity from now through Saturday to prevent another electricity emergency.

The rest, ERCOT says, is up to customers to conserve. "Turn off any unnecessary lights, any unnecessary appliances, just be prepared," said Molina.

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