Texas enters second day of blackouts

graph showing power demand out pacing grid capacity
ERCOT is responsible for managing electrical flow across 90% of Texas’ power grids, or about 26 million households. (Courtesy ERCOT)

ERCOT is responsible for managing electrical flow across 90% of Texas’ power grids, or about 26 million households. (Courtesy ERCOT)



Updated post Feb. 16:

Texans are entering the second day of blackouts Feb. 16. Although power was restored to some 500,000 homes across the state Feb. 15, overnight weather conditions forced additional outages, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas or ERCOT. ERCOT, the agency tasked with managing electrical flow to 90% of electrical users in the state, said it was able to reduce the amount of outages to 14,500 megawatts Feb. 15. As of 8:00 a.m. Feb. 16 however, the amount of outages was up again to 18,500 megawatts, the council reported. At the most severe point Feb. 15, there were 30,000 megawatts worth of weather-related outages, affecting for several million homes across the state. A statement from ERCOT does not given a specific number of outages it expects will be able to be restored throughout the day but suggests the conditions will improve.



Original post Feb. 15:

Texans can expect rolling blackouts through at least the end of the day, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

As residents across the state faced mixes of sleet and snow overnight and through the morning Feb. 15, demand for power outpaced electrical grids’ capacities.

ERCOT is responsible for managing electrical flow across 90% of Texas’ power grids, or about 26 million households.

To manage increased demand caused by severe winter weather across the state, the agency began conducting rolling, or temporary, blackouts after 1 a.m. Feb. 15. It shut off 10,500 megawatts of electricity, or enough for 2 million households. Weather conditions forced an additional 30,000 megawatts off of the grid, according to a news release from the agency.


Although outages were initially intended to last for less than one hour, local grid operators are reporting longer outages.

Outages are expected throughout the day and as long as severe conditions persist, according to ERCOT. Data from the agency shows demand is expected to continue to outpace grid capacity as local officials urge residents to conserve power by keeping lights off and blinds open during the day and lowering household temperatures.

"Every grid operator and every electric company is fighting to restore power right now," ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness said in the news release.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


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