As portions of North Texas are under a Winter Storm Warning, ERCOT has issued a notice saying it anticipates "tight grid conditions" until Friday and requested the TCEQ use discretion if generators exceed air permit limitations to help meet demand.
When the notice was issued Wednesday night, ERCOT showed a reserve of about 3,800 MW and a "Quick Start" capacity of an additional 2,300 MW that could come online within 10 minutes if needed.
An energy industry source briefed on the situation told NBC 5, the tightest spot is expected to be around 8 a.m. Thursday when people use more power as they wake up and when wind generation is lower and not expected to return until later in the morning. According to ERCOT's online dashboard, the demand continued to increase after 9 a.m. with roughly 4,100 MW in reserve power.
Currently, ERCOT still projects it will have plenty of reserve power to call in if needed.
The notice issued by ERCOT Wednesday night stated, "To ensure all possible generation is available to serve system demand, ERCOT has requested that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) exercise its enforcement discretion with respect to generator exceedances of TCEQ air permit limitations."
While the notice is in place, power providers will more likely get forgiveness should they violate any environmental regulations to help meet demand.
At this time, ERCOT has not issued any alerts asking people to conserve. But the wind has died down significantly, leaving the state with less wind energy on the grid into Thursday morning.
A spokesperson for ERCOT issued a statement to NBC DFW saying "Our forecast shows there is sufficient generation to meet expected demand and we continue to inform the market and others of evolving weather conditions. Out of an abundance of caution, ERCOT requested enforcement discretion earlier today so that no generation units become unavailable due to environmental limits. We will continue our aggressive approach to meet the energy needs of Texas."
Other Reports From NBC 5 Investigates
- Jan. 28 - ERCOT Exec Proposes 'Gas Desk' to Help Texas Avoid Power Outages
- Jan. 17 - Most Deficiencies Found During Texas Power Plant Inspections Resolved: ERCOT
- Nov. 19 - Texas Grid Could Suffer Outages in Another Major Winter Storm: Federal Regulators
- Nov. 17 - Feds Recommend Steps to Avoid Future Winter Power Outages in Texas
- Oct. 21 - Texas PUC Requires Power Plants Fix Issues Related to Winter Outages
- Oct. 15 - Vistra Shows Off Cold Weather Protection for Power Plants
- Sept. 24 - Issues That Led to Catastrophic Winter Power Outages Similar to 2011, Regulators Say
- Sept. 22 - How the Gas Industry Downplayed Its Role in Winter Power Outages While Profiting From the Storm
- July 14 - ERCOT Releases New ‘Roadmap' for Power Grid Success
- June 15 - ERCOT Vows to Investigate Early Summer Power Plant Breakdowns
- June 1 - What Texas Lawmakers Did (And Did Not Do) to Address the Power Crisis
- May 27 - Texas at ‘Elevated Risk' of Summer Power Shortages, Potential Outages, Regulators Warn
- May 20 - NBC 5 Investigates: How Texas Wind Power Could Work Better in Cold Weather
- May 12 - NBC 5 Investigates How the Colder States Avoid Winter Blackouts
- April 29 - NBC 5 Investigates Which Power Plants Left Texans Powerless in February
- April 15 - ERCOT Had Concerns About Power Supplies Before Tuesday's Conservation Alert
- April 14 - Texas Power Conservation Alert Raises Alarm Across Texas
- March 12 - NBC 5 Investigates: U.S. Senate Probes Texas Power Outages
- March 9 - Texas Speaker Unveils Plan to Prevent Repeat of State's Energy Crisis
- March 5 - Many Power Plants Didn't Meet Winter Recommendations in Past Seasons
- Feb. 26 - Lawmakers Grill ERCOT CEO on First Day of Power Crisis Hearings
- Feb. 25 - ERCOT: Texas Was 4 Minutes and 37 Seconds Away From a Blackout That Could Have Lasted Months
- Feb. 25 - Abbott Calls for Laws to Prevent Power Crisis Repeat
- Feb. 20 - ERCOT Messages Reveal Actions Prior to Massive Power Outage
- Feb. 19 - Customers Say Oncor's ‘Rolling Outage' Message Left Them Confused, Angry
- Feb. 19 - ERCOT CEO Defends Actions Leading Up to Winter Storm, Record Outages
- Feb. 18 - Federal Regulators Plan to Investigate Massive Texas Power Outage
- Feb. 18 - ERCOT Didn't Conduct On-Site Inspections of Power Plants to Verify Winter Preparedness
- Feb. 16 - What Happened to ‘the Energy Capital of the World' During This Winter Event?
- Feb. 15 - Power Outages and Texas Electric Emergency Explained