WACO, Texas (KWTX) – Update (4:45 p.m.)
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is beginning to restore some of the power lost due to the winter weather event in Texas.
As of 4 p.m., approximately 2,500 MW of load is in the process of being restored – enough power to serve 500,000 households.
“ERCOT and Texas electric companies have been able to restore service to hundreds of thousands of households today, but we know there are many people who are still waiting,” said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. “It’s also important to remember that severe weather, mainly frigid temperatures, is expected to continue, so we’re not out of the woods.”
At this time, the grid operator is instructing transmission owners to shed approximately 14,000 MW of load, down from 16,500 MW earlier today.
At approximately 1:25 a.m. this morning, ERCOT entered its third and highest level of emergency operations because electric demand is exceeding the available supply. Controlled outages are occurring to protect the electric grid from uncontrolled, cascading outages.
While the grid operator was already contending with frozen wind turbines and limited gas supplies to generating units on Feb. 14, a significant number of additional generating units tripped offline when the weather worsened overnight.
Approximately 34,000 MW of generation has been forced off the system during this event.
Controlled outages will likely last throughout the evening and into tomorrow as ERCOT works to restore the electric system to normal operations.
Power outages through much of Texas could continue through at least Tuesday, officials with Electric Reliability Council of Texas said Monday morning.
In a call held with media representatives, Senior Director of System Operations Dan Woodfin said ERCOT had reached a new all time high peak demand, and that the system may not have been able to handle the load.
Woodfin acknowledged that a planned outage of up to 45 minutes has been pushed far beyond that in several places in Texas. He declined to say when that power could be restored, but said they are working around the clock to do so.
At around 1:25am, according to a news release, ERCOT entered emergency conditions, and initiated rolling blackouts at that time. They say at that point, about 10,500 MW of customer load was shed from the system. This is enough power to serve approximately two million homes.
However, extreme weather conditions forced several power sources to go offline at that time, according to the release.
That amounts to over 30,000 MW of generating power.
During the call, officials said this is the longest period of time rotating outages have been carried out.
Right now, around two million people remain without power in Texas, many of those in Central Texas.
ERCOT is asking everyone to conserve energy as much as possible, to reduce the stress on the power grid as they work to get everyone back online.
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