AUSTIN, Texas - The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) announced operations are back to normal after asking Texans to conserve energy due to the possibility of the state’s power grid entering into emergency conditions.
ERCOT announced on Twitter at 8:40 p.m. that its appeal to conserve energy had ended.
"Due to a combination of high generation outages typical in April and higher-than-forecasted demand from a stalled cold front over Texas, ERCOT may enter into emergency conditions this afternoon," said ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson. "Given the event in February, it is important to note that we do not expect customer outages. Rather, this emergency declaration allows us to access tools that will bring supply and demand back into line."
Austin Energy followed up with tips on how to conserve energy including setting your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher and turning off any unnecessary lights.
ERCOT says the Texas power grid was nowhere near what Texas saw in February when thousands of consumers faced blackouts for days. Tuesday, ERCOT says it did not expect any blackouts, but things earlier were "tight".
Rickerson is attributing this emergency declaration to a forecasting issue and the number of generation outages typical in April. "What we are seeing right now is what we see every year at this time," he said.
Rickerson says many generators on the power grid are under routine maintenance to prepare for the summer months and the state’s highest demand for power. For example, Rickerson says 20,000-30,000 megawatts are usually out for maintenance for the month of April.
A cold front forecasted incorrectly on ERCOT's part caused a strain on the supply and demand. Rickerson says this is not uncommon and cannot promise this won’t happen again in a few weeks.