Many Texans finally have electricity back after a deadly blast of winter this week overwhelmed the electrical grid and left millions shivering in the cold for days.
ERCOT announced Friday they expected to come out of emergency conditions at some point before noon and did that just after 10:30 a.m.
"There is enough generation on the electric system to allow us to begin to return to more normal operating conditions," said Senior Director of System Operations Dan Woodfin.
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ERCOT had been under an Emergency Energy Alert since overnight Sunday when they quickly escalated from and EEA1 to EEA2 and EEA3 as demand quickly picked up and generation fell offline. The state remained at an EEA 3 until about 9 a.m. Friday morning when the alert level was dropped back to an EEA2 with the note that the system was recovering.
At about 10 a.m. that level was dropped again to an EEA 1 and at 10:38 a.m., CEO Bill Mangess said they left EEA1 and were completely out of emergency conditions and had resumed normal operations.
ERCOT issues an EEA when power reserves drop below a certain level for a specific duration of time. When ERCOT issues an EEA, it is able to take advantage of additional resources that are only available during scarcity conditions, such as when there is a loss of generation.
Winter Weather Recovery
After several days of sub-freezing temperatures, some melting is expected Friday and Saturday.
An EEA3 exists when operating reserves cannot be maintained above 1,375 MW or when reserves drop below 1,000 MW for 30 minutes and do not recover -- that's when they order rotating outage. Texas was put under an EEA3 early Monday morning and stayed there until Friday.
Under an EEA2, the operating reserves are less than, 1,750 MW and an EEA1 are when operating reserves drop below 2,300 MW.
No additional outages were needed overnight Thursday to keep power supply and electric demand in balance, and only a few generating units tripped. Customers who still have no power should contact their electric provider.
ERCOT says anyone with power likely falls into one of three categories:
- Areas out due to ice storm damage on the distribution system
- Areas that were taken out of service due to the energy emergency load shed that need to be restored manually (i.e., sending a crew to the location to reenergize the line)
- Large industrial facilities that voluntarily went offline to help during this energy emergency
Oncor reports 27,000 remaining outages as of 6 a.m. Friday.
Oncor Outage FAQs
Q: Why does everyone else have power in my area except me?
In many instances, your neighbor may have electric service when you don’t because their home is on a different set of lines or circuits. If your neighbor was without power and is now restored, and you are still without power, please first check the circuit breaker at the property. You should also examine the meter base and Weatherhead to ensure they have not been damaged or pulled off. If that has occurred, customers need to contact an electrician to make necessary repairs before Oncor can restore power. If power is still not restored after checking the breaker and there is no damage to the meter base or Weatherhead, please report it by calling 888-313-4747, texting OUT to 66267, using the MyOncor app or visiting Oncor.com.Additional damage may exist at your location that Oncor was not previously aware of when making the original repairs.
Q: Why does my outage status show “restored” on the app, but I still have no power?
Please first check the circuit breaker at the property. If power is still not restored after checking the breaker, please report it by calling 888-313-4747, texting OUT to 66267, using the MyOncor app or visiting Oncor.com. Additional damage may exist at your location that Oncor was not previously aware of when making the original repairs. Due to the large amounts of system activity surrounding power restoration, it may take some time for our tracking systems to accurately reflect your current status.
Q: Why is my power still out?
The remaining outages are the result of damage from the most recent winter storm, previous winter weather and storm damage that could not be identified until the equipment was re-energized, and damage to electrical equipment caused by record-breaking low temperatures. Oncor personnel and out-of-state mutual assistance contractors are actively engaged in restoration efforts.