Rotating power outages a possibility due to high energy demand, says ERCOT

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, who manages the state’s electricity flow to the entire state, is currently monitoring high levels of electric usage from the cold weather gripping the entire state. Rotating power outages are a possibility if usage remains at peak levels.

“We are dealing with higher-than-normal generation outages due to frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies available to generating units,” says the agency.

ERCOT is asking all residents within the state to take safe, simple precaution measures to lessen the strain on the power grid. Recommendations include:

  • Turn down thermostats to 68-degrees.
  • Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
  • Avoid using large appliances (i.e., ovens, washing machines, etc.).
  • Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
  • Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.

Due to the prolonged winter weather event, precaution measures are asked to be taken within reason.

If power reserves drop too low, ERCOT may need to declare an Energy Emergency Alert, or EEA. Declaring an EEA allows the grid operator to take advantage of additional resources that are only available during scarcity conditions. There are three levels of EEA, and rotating outages are only implemented as a last resort to maintain reliability of the electric system.