The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking Texas residents to conserve power in order to avert rolling blackouts.
According to a release, no outages are currently anticipated, but as extreme hot weather continues driving record power demand across Texas, the power grid operator is issuing a Conservation Appeal for Wednesday, July 13 between 2-8 pm, requesting that residents and businesses voluntarily conserve electricity during this time.
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.
On July 11, ERCOT asked residents and businesses to cut back on energy use between 2-8 pm, when record temperatures were expected.
At the peak hour between 2-3 pm, they're expecting demand to be 79,671 megawatts; only 80,168 megawatts are available.
The dire situation is the result of two factors happening at the same time:
- a record heat wave with high demand
- wind power is generating less energy than usual
ERCOT is suggesting that we turn up our thermostat a degree or two, and postpone running major appliances or pool pumps.
A spokesperson said we are not yet in an emergency situation, but they're asking for voluntary energy reduction where possible.
"If rotating outages became necessary, ERCOT would direct transmission and distribution companies to shed load/reduce demand in their areas/regions," the spokesperson said. "Each area has an amount they would need to reduce demand by. It is up to them to manage the rotating outage if it were to occur. At this time, we do not anticipate this happening."