Tuesday, 15 June 2021 21:21

ERCOT Requests Texans Conserve Energy

Written by Bethany Blankley, The Center Square


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The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the regulatory agency that manages Texas’ power grid, said tight grid conditions are expected the week of June 14 due to high number of forced generation outages, and urged Texans to conserve energy.

The announcement came one month after it published its latest seasonal assessment projecting a less than a 1% chance of blackouts occurring this summer.


It also came just four months after the state’s historic power grid failure left millions of Texans in the cold and dark. Without heat and water during sub-zero temperatures in mid-February, 111 Texans died.


On June 14, ERCOT asked Texans to reduce electric use as much as possible through June 18. ERCOT reported tight grid conditions after a significant number of forced generation outages occurred with record electric use for the month of June.


Generator owners reported approximately 11,000 MW of generation was on forced outage for repairs. Of that, approximately 8,000 MW is thermal, whereby water is heated to drive an electrical generator, and 3,000 MW was from intermittent sources like solar and wind.


According to the summer Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy, a typical range of thermal generation outages on hot summer days is around 3,600 MW. One MW typically powers around 200 homes on a summer day, ERCOT states.


“We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service,” ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson said in a statement. “This is unusual for this early in the summer season.”


Wind output---which is generally unreliable, because wind does not blow all the time or every day---was expected to be between 3,500 and 6,000 MW between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. June 14, roughly 1,500 MW lower than what is typically available for peak conditions. Wind output is expected to...

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