Photo by Sean Pavone, Dreamstime.
Sean Pavone Dreamstime

ERCOT Asks Again for Texans to Conserve Power, Second Request This Week

July 13, 2022
ERCOT said in a release that it expects no system-wide outages.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued another power conservation request for Texas electricity users effective Wednesday in anticipation of peak energy demand potentially outpacing its power generation capacity.

This is the second such appeal the grid operator, which is in charge the power grid for about 90 percent of Texas, has made this week. ERCOT spokespeople previously said it did not expect to have any more conservation requests during this week of extremely hot, dry weather in the Lone Star State.

The voluntary conservation appeal is effective Wednesday, July 13 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The previous appeal was Monday over the same high-demand time of day. That day, according to ERCOT, Texans managed to make demand drop by about 500 MW.

ERCOT said in a release that it expects no system-wide outages.

“Conservation is a reliability tool ERCOT has deployed more than four dozen times since 2008 to successfully manage grid operations. This notification is issued when projected reserves may fall below 2300 MW for 30 minutes or more,” according to the release by ERCOT.

Among the voluntary recommendations ERCOT made to consumers to save energy: Using appliances like washers and dryers during off-peak times, and setting thermostats to 78 degrees F. The grid operator also asked large commercial and industrial power users to limit their power usage to avoid the need to institute rolling blackouts.

The grid operator is attempting to avoid a repeat of an incident like February 2021, where ERCOT directed utilities to perform rolling blackouts when record-breaking cold temperatures froze critical portions of the region’s power infrastructure, leading to a crisis that claimed hundreds of lives.

This week’s record-breaking electricity demand is due to a heat wave affecting much of the central US, including Texas, as well as more power plants being out of service than expected and a lack of wind power due to poorer than expected wind resource.

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