ERCOT

ERCOT's Call to Conserve Power Continues Through Friday

The conservation alert issued Monday is the second from ERCOT since the deadly February winter blackout that cut power to millions for nearly a week and led to the deaths of at least 151 people

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Tuesday is another hot day in North Texas and another day where people statewide are being asked to conserve power during extreme weather conditions.

Though summer is still five days away heat indexes are already into the triple-digits, sending many people indoors seeking cooler temperatures.

ERCOT, the agency that manages Texas' power grid, said Monday nearly 12,000 MW of forced generation outages combined with potential record electric use for the month of June has resulted in tight grid conditions and the need to conserve power through Friday.

NBC 5 Investigates found that among the plants that shut down unexpectedly Monday were four that ERCOT had recently inspected to make sure they were ready to work through the summer.

ERCOT said Monday that the number of plants offline for maintenance issues was three to four times the usual number for this time of year.

ERCOT said they managed to avoid blackouts by tapping into power reserves and again asking Texans to cut back on usage. That request to curb electricity use continues through the end of the week.

ERCOT's leadership vowed to look into the problems with the generators that suddenly went offline Monday, likening them to a car getting a flat tire and needing to make immediate repairs.

"We are deeply concerned about the issues associated with these plants that are off line at this time and we will be doing a thorough investigation to understand what the issues are and to assess what the implications are for the grid," said Warren Lasher, Senior Director of System Planning for ERCOT.

Earlier this spring the grid manager assured Texans they would have sufficient power to meet the peak summer demand. With capacity expected to be 86,862 MW this summer, there should be plenty of power available to meet the 77,144 MW of peak demand expected this summer -- as long as generation facilities are able to stay online.

Power Conservation Tips

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher – every degree of cooling increases your energy use by six to eight percent.
  • Turn off lights and pool pumps and avoid using large appliances like ovens, washing machines, and dryers.
  • If you don’t need something, ERCOT asks you to turn it off and unplug it if possible. 
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