March 5, 2021

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NEW: CenterPoint Energy states power outages ‘could last several more days’; more than half of customers still without power – Community Impact Newspaper

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CenterPoint Energy’s outage tracker shows that more than half of its customers are still without power as of the evening of Feb. 16. (Screenshot courtesy CenterPoint Energy)

CenterPoint Energy officials stated in a Feb. 16 release that its customers could be without power for several more days as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas tries to stabilize the state’s power grid.”Due to the continued issues with power generators’ ability to produce electricity, CenterPoint Energy’s customers need to be prepared to be without power, potentially for the duration of the generation shortage event, which could last several more days,” the release states.

The state’s power supply has fallen short of demand. As such, the outages that have resulted are lasting longer than previously planned, the release states. To comply with ERCOT’s directive, CenterPoint has had to suspend service to a portion of its customers.

As of 4:28 p.m. Feb. 16, 1.23 million CenterPoint customers were without power—more than half of CenterPoint’s customers.

The release states that CenterPoint is an electric transmission and delivery company that serves the Greater Houston area, so it depends on electricity provided by third-party electricity generators and received by ERCOT; CenterPoint does not control the power grid.

“We are ready to restore power as soon as it is available to be delivered; however, there is not enough electricity from third-party generators,” CenterPoint President and CEO Dave Lesar said in the release. “CenterPoint Energy continues to communicate with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and other stakeholders on the power shortage, but we have no control over the generators’ ability to provide power, nor are we able to predict when they will resume their generation. As soon as power is delivered to us, we will be ready to begin to deliver that power to our customers.”

According to the release, CenterPoint Energy resumed rotating outages overnight Feb. 15 but was forced to halt the rotating outages due to ERCOT’s directive to again reduce the strain on the grid. Seven third-party electricity generators in CenterPoint’s area went offline, which caused the reduction in power, according to the release.

Should additional generators go offline, additional power outages will result.

“Given uncertain timing and the ongoing public safety risks due to the severe weather conditions in Houston and surrounding areas, CenterPoint Energy advises all of its electric customers to be prepared to be without power, potentially for the duration of the generation shortage event, which could last several more days. We encourage all our customers to take precautions for their personal safety,” said Kenny Mercado, CenterPoint’s executive vice president of electric utility, in the release.

Customers who still have power are asked to conserve it, and natural gas customers are asked to temporarily lower their thermostat to help conserve natural gas, according to the release.

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