June 27, 2022

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WEBSITE NEWS UPDATE

ERCOT says asking Texans to conserve power is proof system is working

2 min read

The Electric Reliability Council on Tuesday held a press conference updating residents on the health of the state power grid and defending the body’s recent notice asking residents to meter their power consumption.

Texas Public Utilities Commission Chairman Peter Lake began the presser by addressing Friday’s conservation notice, in which ERCOT asked Texans to turn their thermostats up and avoid washing clothes during peak periods over the weekend. 

“This is ERCOT being proactive about grid conditions,” Lake said. “We were tested last weekend and our reforms worked.”


Conditions on the grid swung dramatically Friday following the unscheduled offline-ing of six power generation facilities across the state during the mid-afternoon, driving per-kilowatt energy prices from below $100 to over $4,500 in a matter of hours. One of these failures is alleged to have occurred at a facility that was slated to undergo major repairs but remained in operation following a Thursday request from ERCOT. According to The Texas Tribune’s Mitchell Ferman, energy giant Calpine kept the plant, which remains unnamed, in operation after being asked by the energy regulator to delay scheduled maintenance in response to increased projected demand. The plant ultimately failed due to mechanical issues on Friday, Calpine claims.

ERCOT Interim CEO Brad Jones called Friday’s offline-ing a “surprise,” but maintained that ERCOT’s following conservation announcement was proof of the commission’s growth and successfully opened up “extra reserves” for Texans.

“We were surprised by generators failing close to peak,” Jones said. “It became apparent that we needed to take action…in the past we would call for conservation in the last moment.”

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Jones characterized conservation measures like the one called for ERCOT as “a good thing we should be doing every day.” He also said that Texans cutting back on power will allow ERCOT to navigate what it projects to be the “all-time hottest May on record.”

The Lone Star State has seen back-to-back weekends of record-breaking high temperatures resulting in skyrocketing energy demand. At the beginning of the month ERCOT forecasted historic demand loads on the privatized state grid in May. Regulators on Monday issued an assessment projecting generators would be able to meet peak summer wattage demands in the coming months. On Tuesday, the Texas Tribune’s Mitchell Ferman 

“The reforms are working, and the lights are going to stay on this summer,” Lake said. “We can say with absolute confidence to Texans that the lights will stay on this summer.”



 

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