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Summer blackouts a possibility in Texas

Hot temperatures for long periods of time will test the Texas power grid.

SAN ANTONIO — A large part of the country, including Texas, is at risk for summer blackouts.

NERC known as the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, oversees the power grid for our continent. It presented its summer assessment Wednesday.

Most of the country from the Great Lakes to the West Coast, including Texas, is in yellow or red. That means there is an elevated or high risk for energy shortfalls this summer. Most of Texas falls into the elevated risk category. NERC said the Texas electric grid is likely to be challenged because of long, hot periods of high temperatures. The hotter it is, the more people turn on their air conditioning. That raises the risk of an energy emergency.

KENS 5 asked if Texans could possibly face another statewide power outage similar to what we saw during the 2021 February winter storm if there is an extreme weather event this summer. The answer was it is not necessarily likely, but there is a small chance it could happen. There is just no way to tell if an outage will be short or long.

“I think there’s agreement we need to be prepared for the extreme weather conditions of heat and drought and need to understand what that does in terms of risk for energy shortfalls,” said Mike Olsen, NERC’s reliability assessments manager.

You can help keep the power grid running, especially on really hot days. Keep your thermostat at 78. It sounds hot, but it’s cooler than outside. Also, if there is an energy conservation alert, wait until after 8 p.m. to use large appliances like the washer and dryer or dishwasher. Plus, have an emergency plan in place in case you do lose electricity.  

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