Texas power ‘conservation critical’ as grid enters ’emergency alert’ amid appeal to save energy

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Thursday, September 7, 2023 1:01AM

Power conservation expires, but Texas' demand nearly surpassed supply

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The state’s power grid entered “Energy Emergency Alert 2” on Wednesday evening just halfway through an appeal to Texans to conserve.

Under this stage, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, called the need for conservation “critical” as the state approaches the risk of controlled outages.

Earlier in the day, ERCOT and the Public Utility Commission of Texas issued the conservation appeal lasting three hours, until 9 p.m., based on forecasting of possible emergency operations this evening.

“Continued high temperatures, high demand, low wind, and declining solar power generation will result in anticipated low operating reserves for the Texas power grid this evening,” the Public Utility Commission of Texas announced.

As of 7:35 p.m., ERCOT’s grid conditions meter showed committed capacity at 78,634 megawatts, with a demand of 76,698 megawatts, which meant Texas was fewer than 2,000 megawatts away from demand surpassing supply.

A screen capture taken at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday shows ERCOT’s grid conditions.

You can always check grid conditions on the ERCOT website.

ERCOT explains Energy Emergency Alerts

When reserves on the system get low, ERCOT begins emergency operations using three levels of Energy Emergency Alerts (EEAs). These levels provide access to additional power sources only available during emergency conditions to protect the reliability of the electric system. Entering Emergency Operations does not mean that ERCOT is expecting to call for controlled power outages, which would affect all customer classes, including residential, commercial, and industrial. Entering Emergency Operations means that ERCOT has access to more power reserves that help prevent power outages.

An EEA 2 is issued when ERCOT’s operating reserves have dropped below 1,750 MWs and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes. Controlled outages have not been requested at this time, however, they could become necessary if demand isn’t lowered or additional supply cannot be added from generators.

The video above is from a previous report.

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