“It’s ready”: Texas power grid bracing for coldest temperatures since 2021 blackouts
SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - North Texas may see some of the coldest temperatures since the 2021 February blackouts.
Temperatures may drop to single digits with wind chills between -10 and -15 degrees.
And ERCOT said its keeping the lights on.
“It’s ready,” said Texas Representative Reggie Smith. “I’m confident that the grid is going to be fine this week.”
Smith said the house passed six major pieces of legislation since the 2021 deep freeze preparing for the next blast of cold to blow in.
“We provided an infrastructure by which we could winterize the grid and make sure that the failures that happened in the last winter storm don’t happen again,” said Smith.
He said the house created incentives for gas and energy production, revamped ERCOT’s leadership and worked on communication with the Public Utilities Commission.
“Now, having said that, when you’re talking about mother nature, you need to be prepared,” said Smith.
Preparation is exactly what local electric co-ops are focusing on ahead of the storm.
“We’re expecting a winter peak of 300 to 350, so our load doubles as the temperature drops,” said David McGinnis, the CEO and general manager of Grayson Collin Electric Cooperative.
“The co-op is a very very small piece, less than one percent,” said McGinnis. “I can tell you ours is ready.”
He said Texans can do their part this week too by turning the thermostat down.
“That is the best way to conserve is have a lower setting,” said McGinnis. “Manufacturers recommend 68 degrees for heating. If you can stand another degree or two cooler, that’s going to help demand.”
McGinnis said you can also save energy by about 80 percent just by using LED lights on things like Christmas trees.
ERCOT released a statement Friday.
It said it expects sufficient generation to meet forecasted demand and issued an operating condition notice, giving power generation facilities a heads up to guarantee they’re ready for below freezing weather.
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