ERCOT asks for electricity cutbacks; high demand, low wind sap supply

(Photo by James Day on Unsplash)

The agency that manages the state’s power grid is urging Texans to reduce electricity use from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. today (Thursday, Aug. 24).

“Due to low wind-power generation and high demand, operating reserves for ERCOT are expected to be low for several hours this afternoon into the evening,” the agency said in a news release. “As a result, ERCOT is asking Texans to conserve electricity use, if safe to do so.”

Energy-saving tips can be found on the ERCOT website.

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

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“ERCOT is not experiencing emergency conditions at this time,” the release said, “but forecasts are showing a high potential to enter emergency operations this evening … help from Texans to conserve electricity use will assist grid reliability.”

If anyone is experiencing an outage, 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.

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.