AUSTIN, Texas - The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has issued a Conservation Alert. Consumers and businesses are both being asked to reduce electric use immediately today through Friday, June 18.
A significant number of forced generation outages combined with potential record electric use for the month of June has resulted in tight grid conditions, ERCOT said in a press release. Approximately 11,000 MW of generation is on forced outage for repairs, according to ERCOT. Forced outages are unscheduled and result from the failure of a power plant to function as designed.
"We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service," said ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson. "This is unusual for this early in the summer season."
Consumers and businesses are being asked to reduce electric use immediately.
The request comes after Texans' faith in the strength of the grid to work properly was shaken throughout the year. In February, Texans suffered a breakdown of the electric grid and widespread power outages during a historic winter storm. Then in March, ERCOT unexpectedly called for an electricity conversation. Today's alert is the second call for electricity conversation from ERCOT this year.
Texans are being asked to safely reduce their electric use in the following ways:
- Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher – every degree of cooling increases your energy use by six to eight percent.
- Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
- Avoid using large appliances like ovens and washing machines.
- Close drapes and blinds.
- Minimize electric lighting and the use of electric equipment.
- Consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.
ERCOT shared news of the Conservation Alert on Twitter shortly before 1 p.m.
The request for energy conservation comes as temperatures across the state approached their usual summer highs. A mostly sunny, hot, and humid day can be expected across Central Texas.
Highs will range from the lower 90s in the Hill Country to lower 100s along the Rio Grande.