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ERCOT cancels call for power conservation after Texas grid averts emergency, says conditions ‘tight’ Wednesday

Outages not expected
ERCOT, which manages most of the Texas electric grid, called on residents to conserve power...
ERCOT, which manages most of the Texas electric grid, called on residents to conserve power through the evening Tuesday after a stalled cold front over the state spurred higher-than-expected demand for power. (File)(WLUC)
Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 5:53 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 14, 2021 at 1:14 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX) - The Electric Reliability Council of Texas or ERCOT, which oversees most of the state’s electric grid, has canceled its call for power conservation after the grid averted an emergency Tuesday night, but said it’s expecting “tight” grid conditions again Wednesday.

“We may see tight grid conditions due to the large number of generators out of service for planned and forced maintenance combined with low wind and solar output forecasted for today,” ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson said Wednesday.

“Additionally, we’re seeing some risk in the Rio Grande Valley due to the forced outage of a generating unit in the area.”

ERCOT issued the call for conservation late Tuesday afternoon, blaming a surge in demand on the weather.

“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,” ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson said.

ERCOT came under fire for mismanaging its resources ahead of the historic freeze in February that knocked out power to 4 million customers in Texas and killed more than 100 people.

“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,” Rickerson said Tuesday.

“We would have to have some pretty severe things happen, like major plants going offline--more than one--in order to enter into load shed this evening,” Rickerson said.

Oncor, which provides power transmission and distribution, echoed the call for conservation, and advised customers to turn off unnecessary lights and equipment, turn thermostats up by two to three degrees, use fans, limit use of large appliances, close drapes during the late afternoon and schedule pool pumps to run early in the morning or overnight.

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