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Texas power grid strained again; officials ask residents to reduce electricity use

UPDATED: Mon., June 14, 2021

By Stefan Stevenson Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH, Texas – Texas officials are asking residents to reduce electric use “as much as possible” this week because of significant strain on the state’s power grid.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, is making the request because of “significant forced generation outages combined with potential record electric use” in June, according to an ERCOT release.

According to ERCOT, generator owners have reported approximately 11,000 megawatts of generation is on forced outage for repairs. Approximately 8,000 megawatts is thermal and the rest is intermittent resources. According to the summer Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy, a typical range of thermal generation outages on hot summer days is around 3,600 megawatts. One megawatt typically powers around 200 homes on a summer day.

“We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service,” ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson said in the release. “This is unusual for this early in the summer season.”

The number of outages should decrease throughout the week.

Wind generated power is expected to be about 1,500 megawatts lower than the typical 3,500 to 6,000 megawatts from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., the peak time of power consumption.

Wind output is expected to increase throughtout the week, according to ERCOT.

Monday’s peak load forecast could exceed 73,000 megawatts, which would be a June record. The high June peak was 69,123 megawatts set on June 27, 2018, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

ERCOT is asking Texas residents to do the following:

– Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher – every degree of cooling increases your energy use by 6% to 8%.

– Turn off lights and pool pumps and avoid using large appliances like ovens, washing machines and dryers.

– If you don’t need something – we are asking you to turn it off and unplug it if possible.

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