"As the weather warms the demand comes down, and as the demand comes down that’s another way to establish the balance to avoid the catastrophic blackout we are avoiding," said ERCOT CEO Bill Magness.
With more power generators going online, ERCOT officials say they will try to go back to the original plan of rotating electrical outages.
"The best case at this point I think is today or tomorrow we are able to get back down to the point where all the consumers are experiencing outages that are no longer than 30 minutes to an hour at a time, so we are actually rotating through people so they are able to be turned back on for a while and then another area is turned off and they are turned back on I think that’s the best case. I don’t think it’s likely we are going to have enough available, based on our forecast and the information we are getting from the generators, that we are going to have everybody back on today or before a least the morning peak tomorrow," said ERCOT System Operations Director Dan Woodfin.
Among the people who got their power back on was Darcy Peters. "We are all widely unprepared, and this definitely shows they’re not prepared either for this," said Peters.
When Peters' lights came back on Wednesday, she ventured out to a Cedar Park store to get supplies. She doubts her electricity will stay on. "Not really, not at all, we were told Sunday night we were just going to have power out for 30 to 45 minutes and then it just came back on today at 12. So, no I don’t have a lot of faith right," said Peters.
Since the winter storm began on Monday, ERCOT estimates 185 generating units tripped offline. Frozen wind turbines, limited gas supplies, low gas pressure, and frozen instrumentation were key factors they say.
"If you count the wind generation, and the fully installed capacity, it’s around 40% of the generation that went off line," said Woodfin.
ERCOT leaders also addressed accusations that they sold power out of state during the crisis.
"I think that was a miscommunication, we are not selling power to other grids, it’s a matter of importing power from other grids into ERCOT to help serve load in ERCOT. It’s not a matter of exporting, it’s a matter of importing to help serve the load here," said Woodfin.
In regards to calls for top leadership to resign; the question was side stepped.
"The blame can be assessed, very soon blame will be surely assessed but this team that has been protecting the grid from a worse, even though this has been so bad, a much worse situation, are really the key people who will lead us and who have saved us from those very bad blackout situations in the past, so that is where my confidence is and I’m sure we will work out the rest once we get the power back on," said Magness.
The names of senior leadership and board members were removed from the ERCOT website. A spokesperson told FOX7 the names were removed not because of resignations but because of threats being made.
ERCOT officials also said that changes state lawmakers wanted after a similar power crisis a decade ago were more guidelines than mandates. Hearings on this current power crisis will be held at the State Capitol on the 25th.