AUSTIN (Nexstar) — On Friday morning, ERCOT’s live supply and demand tracker reported demand for power in Texas hit 69,034 MW at 9:15 a.m. The tracker projects demand will decrease throughout the rest of the day.
Throughout the week, the state has reported it did not expect to issue conservation alerts. “We have a high degree of confidence our grid, we feel very comfortable in our current situation,” ERCOT’s interim CEO Brad Jones said Thursday.
Earlier this week, Gov. Greg Abbott reiterated that confidence, but also said, “No one can guarantee that there won’t be a load-shed event.”
A load shed event occurs when there’s too much demand for our grid to handle, and ERCOT asks providers to start pushing people offline with rolling blackouts. During last year’s event, so much was required to be shed that those rolling blackouts ended up lasting days, and did not roll.
This year, ERCOT has made improvements, including requiring power generators to weatherize, and including a larger margin of safety for supply. Friday morning, even at the peak demand of 68,000 MW, the grid had 83,000 MW of supply, meaning we had a 15,000 MW margin of safety.
This cold snap doesn’t compare to last year’s, though, both with temperatures, the length of the storm and demand. During last year’s freeze, peak demand was 74,000 MW.
There could still be a chance for local outages, but as of Friday morning, there does not seem to be any issues with the state’s grid operations.