Power Outages may continue throughout Monday night, ERCOT says

"We anticipate that we'll need to continue these controlled outages at some level" says the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Director

VICTORIA, Texas- The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the electric power for more than 26 million Texas customers. As of 10 a.m. Monday there were 2.7 million people without power. EROCOT held a conference call this morning to give an update on the electricity in Texas.

“This cold weather is unprecedented in the state of Texas.  Due to the unprecedented cold weather, we did reach a new winter peak demand for electricity last night between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. of 69,222 MegaWatts (MW), and the demand stayed high even after that peak in the evening hours, as the temperatures continued to drop during the evening. After that peak, beginning around 11 p.m., multiple generating units began tripping offline in some what of a rapid progression, due to the severe cold weather. As a result of the decreasing supply and the continued high demand, we began to see a diminishing reserve of the amount of generations that we have in access of the demand by electric consumers by the system,” said Dan Woodfin, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Senior Director of Senior Operations.

ERCOT says, they have an emergency operations plan called the Energy Emergency Alert Plan and it was implemented to make sure they were able to maintain the balance between supply and demand on the system. The plan allows them to take advantage of additional resources that are specifically procured to be used during emergencies. So they used those resources but they trickled offline as well.

“At the highest point of usage we asked the transmission companies to reduce 16,500 MW off the load. As I mentioned, we have almost 34,000 MW of generation that has been forced off the system either part of the event or during all the trips that’s going on. These outages will continue until there are sufficient generations that are being able to be brought back online to meet the demand on the system. At this time we anticipate that we’ll need to continue these controlled outages at some level for the rest of today and at least the first part of tomorrow, perhaps all day tomorrow, because of the severity of the amount and the amount of load that had to be shed, the electric providers typically rotate these outages but they haven’t been able to do that because of the quantity of outages,” said Woodfin.

Woodfin, will have another conference call to keep everyone updated on the electricity here in Texas.