ERCOT Calls For Rotating Outages As Extreme Winter Weather Forces Generating Units Offline

Almost 10,000 MW of generation lost due to sub-freezing conditions

AUSTIN, TX, Feb. 15, 2021 – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) entered emergency conditions and initiated rotating outages at 1:25 a.m. today.

About 10,500 MW of customer load was shed at the highest point. This is enough power to serve approximately two million homes.

Extreme weather conditions caused many generating units – across fuel types – to trip offline and become unavailable.

There is now over 30,000 MW of generation forced off the system.

“Every grid operator and every electric company is fighting to restore power right now,” said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness.

Rotating outages will likely last throughout the morning and could be initiated until this weather emergency ends.

ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers, representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. As the Independent System Operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 680+ generation units. ERCOT also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for more than 8 million premises in competitive choice areas. ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature.

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  1. Four outages and counting… As I’m sitting here wondering how I’m going to make breakfast, kids school, and do my work, I can’t help but wonder if this is our own fault.

    Think about it. We are a growing community. Growing communities have increased energy requirements. That requires more infrastructure which requires MONEY! Money that can only be generated through work. But our economy has been on crutches for the past year due to an illness with a near 100% recovery rate. Once again, we’d be in better position to respond if we had just done nothing for Rona.

    Texas gets cold. Ice is unusual, but happens. We had a full week to plan, prepare and execute for this. Yet, here we sit. Cold and wondering how we are going to serve our basic needs. (Thank god for gas & matches. Be careful.) — Priorities?

  2. 2.5 million people in Texas are currently without power, meanwhile Texas has the world’s largest supply of natural gas. And then it gets better: “Turbines in that area have frozen amid the cold temperatures, causing the state’s wind power capacity to fall from 25,100 megawatts of energy to just 12,000, according to the Austin American-Statesman.”

    If they are going to do rolling blackouts, then tell people when and for how long. Some areas of Texas have had no power since 2AM and counting.

    Someone at The Electric UNReliability Council of Texas needs to get fired.
    FRACK on!

  3. PS: am wondering who has purview over The Electric UNReliability Council of Texas ? ??Oversight and an investigation?? Choice is tragic, wind turbines are an utter failure WHEN IT COUNTS. FRACK ON!!!

    1. Energy is the classic example of a natural monopoly. Not only is it impossible for people to produce modern requirements on their own, government takes specific action to bar individuals from even trying. Those barriers are generally good. I don’t want my neighbors running massive gas generators out of their garage. Safety right?

      But when government stands in the way, it had better be able to deliver. We need to expect better.

  4. The idea that our rolling blackouts are caused by us not working through the time of plague doesn’t make sense. If our economy was growing even faster would it achieve the reliability we need during this white out? Would we eagerly ask for the increased energy prices to pay for capacity? Blaming any particular source of power also misses the problem. Grid capacity, energy generation and switching all need a deep “bench” with complex configurations in order to weather all storms.
    ERCOT oversees the integrated system. Texas Public Utility Commission and the legislature oversee ERCOT; we oversee them. Get your reps on the phone right now and let them know that 1-50 years from now this better not happen again! Meanwhile ask friends and neighbors to please switch off their clothes dryers, water heaters, ovens and drop the temp inside to 65. That would get us up and running a bit sooner

    1. Umm… Is there a possibility that the drop in sale tax (the state’s primary source of revenue) resulted in reduced dollars going to ERCOT, who then reduced capacity because they couldn’t pay their own bills? Businesses increase capacity & load shed all the time. Banks do it on a nightly basis. There are other reports on this page talking about how energy is traded between grids & countries. … But it all takes $$$$.

      No, I’m not turning down my thermostat. I woke up this morning to a house that measured 69 degrees. That was the target the city set. Goal achieved.

  5. Who hurt you Robert? It’s hilarious to watch you comment angrily on every article while it’s abundantly clear you have absolutely no knowledge about the majority of the topics.

    1. Any argument to the contrary must be coming from an anger filled position. Nah… That’s not how it works.

      Am I angry about the past year? Not really. Just severely disappointed. You all should want better. You all should stop to think. We’d all be in a better position now had you done that then.

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