New day, same story: ERCOT says save electricity

(Photo by James Day on Unsplash)

Never mind the cool down – the agency that manages the state’s power grid is again – still? – urging Texans to reduce electricity. The request by ERCOT today (Wednesday, Aug. 30) is for voluntary conservation “if safe to do so” from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) said reductions are needed “due to a high level of unexpected thermal generation outages and forecasted low wind generation,” resulting in low operating reserves.

“Similar to yesterday, today’s conservation appeal does not indicate ERCOT is experiencing emergency conditions at this time,” the agency said in a news release. “Current forecasts are showing a potential to enter emergency operations this evening … ERCOT will continue to closely monitor conditions throughout the day and will keep the public informed through our communications channels.”

ERCOT avoided emergency operations Tuesday, the release said, due to conservation efforts by Texas residents and businesses, combined with wind improvements and additional grid reliability tools.

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The grid operator is requesting all government agencies (including city and county offices) to implement all programs to reduce energy use at their facilities.

ERCOT said conservation is a widely used industry tool that can help lower demand for a specific period of peak demand time, which is typically late afternoon into the evening hours. Energy-saving tips and other information can be found on the ERCOT website.

ERCOT is using additional tools to manage the grid reliably, the agency said, including using reserve power, calling upon reductions by large electric customers that have volunteered to lower their energy use, and bringing more generation online sooner. ERCOT is also working with out-of-state Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Market Participants to obtain additional power generation capacity.

If anyone is experiencing an outage at this time it is local in nature and not related to overall grid reliability, ERCOT said, adding that customers experiencing outages should contact their local electric provider.