Jan 07

Texas’ Narrow Escape From Power Blackout

Texas residents narrowly missed a level 3 emergency on Monday January 6, following the trip off of two giant power plants in the northern section of the state. The grid is managed by the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) which has in place a three level emergency plan.

The grid experienced a high demand for electricity as a result of the extremely cold weather. This was part of the reason that lead to the power plants tripping off. Level one of the emergency plan was ordered by ERCOT at 6:52 am, with level 2 following only nine minutes later as the power reserves dipped below 1,750 megawatts. If the situation had spiraled to level three, it would have meant that the council would have to rotate power outages to keep the grid functioning.

Changes made by ERCOT and owners of power plants to protect the units from cold weather after the 2011 storm impacted greatly on the outcome of this situation.

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Jun 25

Texas Electricity Usage Peaks for 2013

According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state set a high for peak electricity demand for the year on Monday.  Electricity demand exceeded 60,000 megawatts on Monday as the grid inched toward the total system capacity of 64,000 megawatts.

Most of the state is experiencing temperatures from the 90’s to, in some cases, over 100.  This is the season of concern for the state’s grid planners.  As summer sets in A/C’s are running all across the state taxing the states limited supply of electric power.

With summer yet to officially begin, this peak will surely be broken again in the weeks to come.  ERCOT could possible call for emergency conservation measures from the state’s power consumers this summer if demand gets too high.