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ERCOT moves out of emergency operations, still asks for conservation

KHOU 11 energy expert Ed Hirs said this was the first time an "Energy Emergency Alert 2" has been issued since the 2021 winter storm.
Credit: KHOU

TEXAS, USA — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) moved out of emergency operations Wednesday night, just a little more than an hour after issuing an 'Energy Emergency Alert 2' for the first time since 2021. 

That came on the heels of earlier asking Texans to reduce electricity between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.  That conservation appeal has also been allowed to expire, though ERCOT is still asking Texans to conserve.

The escalation to an 'Energy Emergency Alert' earlier was due to what ERCOT said were low power reserves.  

KHOU 11 energy expert Ed Hirs said this is the first time an "Energy Emergency Alert 2" has been issued since the 2021 winter storm. 

The next step would have been possible 'load shedding' or rolling blackouts. 

Ways you can conserve energy:

  • Raising your thermostat by a degree or two, if safe to do so.  
  • Avoid using large appliances, such as washers/dryers and dishwashers.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances. 
  • Set pool pumps to run early morning or overnight; shut off during peak hours. 

ERCOT said if conditions worsen, it may issue a directive to reduce power delivered to customers, which could lead to controlled power outages. 

"Controlled outages are only implemented as a last resort to maintain reliability of the electric system, and they are done with the intent to rotate outages in the electric service territory based on system conditions," ERCOT said.

Here's a real-time look at how the Texas power grid is holding up

Anytime the Texas power grid is the subject of a conservation advisory, or when the weather turns extreme in the Lone Star State, it's a good time to check on supply and demand.

The ERCOT has a dashboard that allows you to monitor real-time grid conditions.  

Supply and demand

This is a real-time look at the supply of power and demand, as reported by ERCOT. It also shows projected supply and demand, based on forecast. 

Grid conditions

ERCOT is tracking the state of the grid, as well as the state of the operating reserve. 

There are several more real-time monitors that you can check on ERCOT's site, including system-wide demand, solar, current prices, and more.

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