With triple-digit heat and less wind and sunshine expected Thursday, tight conditions are expected again in the afternoon and evening on the Texas power grid, leading to a call for protection from ERCOT.
“Due to continued high temperatures, high demand, low winds and declining solar generation this afternoon, operating reserves are expected to be low during the afternoon and evening hours,” ERCOT said in a statement Thursday morning. “ERCOT is not in emergency operations and no controlled outages are required at this time.”
ERCOT’s Supply and Demand Dashboard Afternoon again showed a narrowing between supply and demand, with demand peaking after 7pm
ERCOT is asking Texans to limit their energy use between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Thursday.
NBC 5 meteorologist Kevan Smith talks about strain and weather’s impact on the Texas power grid and calls for energy conservation.
On Wednesday, ERCOT issued a Level 2 Power Emergency Alert Wednesday night due to low power availability. This is the first time since 2021 that the agency has issued a Level 2 warning because of dwindling stocks.
Texans heeded the call and secured enough power to prevent “load shedding,” or a rolling blackout, on Wednesday.
ERCOT said it was out of emergency operations and the grid was back to normal operations Wednesday night. Meanwhile, the weather watch issued earlier this week remains in effect until September 8.
ERCOT is very different Energy emergency alert levels or EEAs. After normal phase conditions, levels are Safety Alert Level, then EEA 1, 2 and 3.
Here’s what the alert levels mean:
- Safety Warning: ERCOT said this is a voluntary request to reduce electricity use. While ERCOT says it is not in emergency measures, it also urges the public that “all government agencies implement all plans to reduce energy use at their facilities.”
- Power Emergency Level 1: Safety is considered paramount. Operating reserves are not expected to fall below 2,300 MW and recover within 30 minutes.
- Emergency Level 2: Triggered when reserves are below 1,750 MW and not expected to recover within 30 minutes. At this point, ERCOT can reduce demand on the system by interrupting power from large industrial customers who have contractually agreed to shut down power during an emergency.
- Emergency Level 3: The final level will be reached when the reserve falls below 1,430 MW. If operating reserves fall below 1,000 MW and are not expected to be restored within 30 minutes and/or the grid’s frequency level cannot be maintained at 60 Hz, ERCOT will implement “controlled outages,” also known as rolling blackouts.
What can I do to help?
ERCOT is urging Texans to take simple electricity conservation measures to reduce demand on the grid.
- If safe, raise the thermostat a degree or two.
- Avoid using large appliances like washer, dryer etc.
- Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
- Instead of peak hours, set pool pumps to run early in the morning or throughout the night.
Why the request to reduce usage?
- Heat. Continued high heat across the state.
- Request Texas sees high demand due to heat.
- Sun light. At the end of summer, solar production begins to decline in the late afternoon before going completely offline at sunset.
- wind Wind production is forecast to be lower this evening during peak demand.
PUCT’s Power to Save website has tips for reducing electricity use in homes and businesses, among others. Energy saving tips are available at TXANS (ercot.com)..
- ERCOT set a new, all-time, unofficial peak demand record of 85,435 MW on August 10, 2023.
- ERCOT set a new all-time September peak demand record of 81,674 MW on September 5, 2023, surpassing the previous record of 78,459 MW set on September 4.
- This summer, ERCOT installed 10 new ones All-time peak demand records.
- Last summer, ERCOT set 11 new peak demand records with 80,148 MW on July 20.
- Public Utilities Commission of Texas Hotline: 1-888-782-8477
Stay up to date
- Sign up for TXANS notifications TXANS
- Download the ERCOT mobile app for more updates: iOS| Android.
- Monitor real-time and extended conditions in ercot.com.
- Subscribe ERCOT Emergency Alerts Not sent through TXANS notifications.
- Follow ERCOT on Twitter (@ERCOT_ISO), Facebook (Electric Reliability Council of Texas), and LinkedIn (ERCOT).