ERCOT says it may enter emergency conditions due to outages, demand

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ERCOT says it may enter emergency conditions due to outages, demand

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Just nearly two months after earning national attention for mass power outages during Texas’ winter storms, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which controls the flow of electricity in the state, fears it may soon enter “emergency conditions.”

ERCOT says system was four minutes away from complete collapse during winter storms

On Tuesday, ERCOT announced that high generator outages that are typical for the month of April coupled with “higher-than-forecasted” demand caused by a stalled cold front have led to the condition.

The council says it doesn’t expect customer outages and that declaring an emergency would allow it time to access additional resources. Nevertheless, ERCOT is asking customers and businesses to conserve electricity use into Tuesday evening.

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Back in February, millions of Texans spent days without heat or electricity under single digit temperatures, and ERCOT’s management — or mismanagement — of the crisis came to be near-universally acknowledged as a failure. With this judgment, came increasing attention on its leadership.

This meant a wide-reaching shuffle in the coming weeks, including resignations for several board members and the termination of President and CEO Bill Magness. Even more trouble for the council: hearings in both the Texas House and Senate to determine the extent of the council’s preparation for the storms.

As of Tuesday evening, the ERCOT Real-Time System Conditions board showed Texas is using about 99.999% of available power across the state.

Russell Falcon
This article originally appeared on KXAN Austin

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