AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, is asking Texas to conserve energy Thursday evening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Due to “continued high temperatures, high demand, low wind, and declining solar power generation,” ERCOT said operating reserves are expected to be low into the afternoon and evening hours and is asking Texans to conserve electric use if it’s safe to do so.
The council also expects similar conditions through Friday and said it will keep the public informed.
ERCOT said Thursday’s conservation appeal does not indicate ERCOT is experiencing emergency conditions at this time. Current forecasts are showing a potential for low reserves today because of continued high temperatures, high demand, low wind, and declining solar power generation into the afternoon and evening hours.
For a portion of Wednesday evening, ERCOT said it entered an emergency level 2 declaration to maintain the stability of the grid. That alert level states rolling outages are possible throughout the state.
ERCOT said it will continue to closely monitor conditions throughout the day and will keep the public informed through its communications channels.
ERCOT is also requesting all government agencies (including city and county offices) to implement all programs to reduce energy use at their facilities.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas, or PUCT, echoed ERCOT’s conservation request.
ERCOT said it is using additional tools to manage the grid reliably, including using reserve power, calling upon reductions by large electric customers that have volunteered to lower their energy use, and bringing more generation online sooner.
The council also said it is working with out-of-state Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Market Participants to obtain additional power generation capacity. ERCOT has also requested Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) enforcement discretion, which allows a generator to extend its service/run-time/operations to help meet demand, if needed, and maintain grid reliability.
It is also taking precautionary measures by requesting from the Department of Energy (DOE) an order that would allow generating units within the ERCOT interconnection to operate up to their maximum generation output levels, if needed, and promptly respond if conditions warranted.
Energy-saving tips can be found on the TXANS webpage.
If you are experiencing an outage at this time, ERCOT says it is local in nature and not related to overall grid reliability, and to check with your local electric provider for more information.