ERCOT Urges Texans To Conserve Power As Another Cold Blast Sparks Grid ‘Emergency’
Texas’ power grid operator, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which came under immense pressure months ago for mishandling the historic winter storm in mid-February, urged customers Tuesday afternoon to “reduce their electricity use” as a cold front swept through, causing power demand to spike.
ERCOT told customers to please “conserve energy at this time. Consumers and businesses are urged to reduce their electricity use this afternoon and into the evening.”
Texas’ power grid operator also said:
“Due to a combination of high gen outages typical in April & higher-than-forecasted demand caused by a stalled cold front over TX, ERCOT may enter emergency conditions.
With a cold front moving through the Lone Star state some generation units were already down for repair work. Bloomberg reports one spot price for Texas power jumped as much as 3,300% on Tuesday.
In particular, the average spot at ERCOT’s North Hub jumped more than 3,300% to $656.45 a megawatt-hour this afternoon. Spot prices briefly surged to $900 in areas.
The grid has seen tight supply conditions as below-average temperatures pour into the state this week.
So far, “We do not expect customer outages. Declaring an emergency would allow us to access additional resources,” ERCOT said.
… and the internet was not enthused by ERCOT’s grid warning today:
On Twitter users said: “Let me get this straight — you nearly killed millions of Texans because of poor resource management and being woefully unprepared in February and suddenly you need us to conserve electricity because we are in to 50s??? How are any of you still in charge of our energy???”
Another said, “I’ve already heard neighbors say they have lost power for a few minutes here and there. They were already testing their system, whatever that is.”
“Those low 60s! Can’t expect @ERCOT_ISO to handle that kind of a cold snap,” a user said.
*This story is developing.
Tue, 04/13/2021 – 20:50