With this new cold weather coming in, people are being urged to conserve power as they can. Otherwise, if there's too much strain on the grid, E.R.C.O.T. will order rolling blackouts to avoid a larger disaster.
E.R.C.O.T.i s asking people to turn thermostats to below 68 degrees during the day and 55 degrees at night. Also, turn off anything you aren't using. Use as little power as you can from 6 to 9 in the morning, and from 4 to 8 at night.
Here's the release from E.R.C.O.T.:
Consumers and businesses are encouraged to reduce their electricity use during peak demand hours over the next few days from 6 – 9 a.m. and 4 – 8 p.m. to help reduce the risk of electricity emergencies or the need for rotating outages.
“The National Weather Service is anticipating severe cold weather statewide this week, as another arctic air mass is expected to reach deep into Texas, dropping temperatures back into the teens and twenties,” said Trip Doggett, CEO, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid operator for the state.
EXTRA GENERATION RESERVED FOR NEXT FEW DAYS
“In anticipation of this severe cold weather, ERCOT will procure additional generation capacity for real-time operations to help maintain reliable delivery of power during this extreme weather event over the next few days,” he said.
Wednesday’s peak demand is currently projected to be more than 54,000 MW between 8-9 p.m. , and more than 58,000 – which would be a new winter record – between 7-8 a.m. on Thursday. The current winter peak demand record is 56,334 MW which occurred Feb. 2, between 7 and 8 p.m.
The grid continues to have about 2,700 MW of generation capacity unavailable because of unplanned or forced outages.
“Although we have no immediate concerns for the possibility of rotating outages tomorrow morning, ERCOT will be monitoring the grid closely because additional unexpected major losses of generation could force operators and utilities to begin emergency procedures to avoid an uncontrolled statewide blackout,” Doggett said. “Rotating outages are ordered only as a last resort to ensure the security of the statewide transmission grid. “
* Turn thermostats to 68 degrees or below in the daytime and to 55 degrees at night or when leaving for the day.
* Turn off and un-plug non-essential lights and appliances.
* Avoid running large appliances such as washers, dryers, and electric ovens during peak energy demand hours.
* Close shades and blinds at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
* 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.
See more conservation tips at “Powerful Advice,” Public Utility Commission of Texas: