AUSTIN (KXAN) — At one point Wednesday, nearly 160,000 people in Austin were without power, and many others across the state experienced outages as well.
These outages, however, are not being caused by statewide power grid conditions.
In an update Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott said the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT. “expects sufficient generation to meet forecasted demand and is continuing to monitor forecasts throughout the week.”
The situation this week is different from what happened during the 2021 winter storm, when demand was in danger of surpassing supply. ERCOT said at the time it was minutes away from a complete blackout, which it avoided by ordering more outages.
“The power grid itself is functioning very effectively as we speak right now,” Abbott said Tuesday. “And there is not anticipated to be any challenge to the power grid in the state of Texas.”
You can check grid conditions online. As of 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, conditions were normal.
ERCOT also said Monday it expected to meet demand in Texas for the week. It said in a Facebook post it was “monitoring weather conditions and expects sufficient generation to meet forecasted demand.”
Ice on trees and powerlines can lead to localized outages, and Abbott said if customers experience a local power outage, they should reach out to their local power provider or visit the Public Utility Commission of Texas outage map for more information.
Austin Energy started experiencing outages Wednesday beginning around 3 a.m. The outages increased drastically for hours, eventually plateauing around 10:30 a.m. with 145,000 customers with no power for several hours.
The energy provider said in an 11:30 a.m. update that some customers could be without power for 12-24 hours.
KXAN talked to Austin Energy’s spokesperson Matt Mitchell early Wednesday morning to ask about its response.
Mitchell said at the time that crews were responding to everyone as quickly as possible, but because of the weather conditions, response would be slowed.
He also said Austin Energy requested mutual aid to help with restore power.
“The wonderful thing about being a public utility is that not only are we all hands on deck, but other public utilities around the state and nation jump in to help us the way we jump in to help them when there’s a hurricane or other natural disaster,” Mitchell said.