Heads up Texas

April 13, 2021

UPDATE: Crisis averted

Dallas Morning News:

This is a developing story and is being continuously updated.

Texas’ power grid operator asked for customers to conserve energy Tuesday afternoon, adding it isn’t expecting outages but may enter emergency conditions this afternoon due to “higher-than forecasted demand” plus typical outages by power generators.

The request comes almost two months after Texas’ deep freeze in mid-February when millions of customers lost power and more than 100 people died, triggering legislation, resignations of top energy regulatory officials and lawsuits.

Temperatures across Texas Tuesday were mostly seasonable, in the 70s and 80s, when the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) issued the request, but the agency cited a stalled cold front that didn’t make its way through the state as predicted.

It also appeared that several thermal generating sources — natural gas, nuclear and coal — were offline due to maintenance. ERCOT said it did not expect power outages.

At the news conference, Woody Rickerson, ERCOT’s vice president of grid planning and operations, explained that a number of generators were undergoing planned maintenance today because forecasts estimated cooler temperatures for the day. However, he said when a forecasted cold front stalled, the higher Texas temperatures created a demand problem.

The maintenance going on now is expected for this time of year. April outages are already normally higher, but definitely a small number of generators are still out from the winter storm. Rickerson said this maintenance needs to be happening right now in order for the grid to be ready in the summer months, when ERCOT can’t afford for much generation to be offline.

Misty M on Twitter speaks for all of us:

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