AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas’ main electrical grid operator asked Texans to conserve electricity use. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)’s request for conservation is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday.
ERCOT said it avoided emergency operations Tuesday due to conservation efforts by Texas residents and businesses, combined with wind improvements and additional grid reliability tools.
“Current forecasts are showing a potential to enter emergency operations this evening because of a high level of unexpected thermal generation outages and forecasted low wind generation. ERCOT will continue to closely monitor conditions throughout the day and will keep the public informed through our communications channels,” ERCOT said.
ERCOT alert levels
Conservation Alert: This is a voluntary request to reduce electrical use, ERCOT said. While ERCOT said it is not in emergency operations, it asks the public and “all government agencies to implement all programs to reduce energy use at their facilities.”
Energy Emergency Level 1: Conservation is considered to be critical. We reach this stage when operating reserves drop below 2,300 MW and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes.
Emergency Level 2: Triggered when reserves are less than 1,750 MW and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes. At this point, ERCOT can reduce demand on the system by interrupting power from large industrial customers who have contractually agreed to have their electricity turned off during an emergency.
Emergency Level 3: The final level hits when reserves drop below 1,430 MW. If operating reserves drop below 1,000 MW and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes, and/or the grid’s frequency level cannot be maintained at 60 Hz, ERCOT will implement “controlled outages,” also known as rolling blackouts.
ERCOT’s notification system
Anyone who wants to sign up for grid condition notifications via the Texas Advisory and Notification System (TXANS) can visit the ERCOT website.
ERCOT hopes the TXANS system will help increase transparency and trust, ERCOT President and CEO Pablo Vegas previously said.