Texas’ electrical grid operator is implementing rolling blackouts across most of the state Monday after a massive winter storm brought unprecedented demand for electricity and forced multiple power-generating units offline.
The blackouts began at 1:25 a.m. Central time. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said they would likely last “throughout the morning and could be initiated until this weather emergency ends.”
“Every grid operator and every electric company is fighting to restore power right now,” ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness said in a press release.
The blackouts are designed to reduce demand for electricity until capacity can be restored. ERCOT officials hinted on Sunday that they might be necessary, saying they’d most likely last between 10 minutes to 45 minutes at a time.
We appreciate our customers’ patience as we continue to follow @ERCOT_ISO’s directive to reduce load and implement controlled outages across the Greater Houston area. #houwx #hounews 6/10
— CenterPoint Energy (@CNPalerts) 9:27 AM – 15 February 2021
We’ve been without power for 2.5 hours as I write this – we have some battery backup to keep the WiFi going and recharge devices, but not much more than that. They say a little time spent offline is good for you. We’ll see about that. Stay warm, y’all.
UPDATE: We got our power back after eight hours, which makes us very fortunate.
CenterPoint Energy customers who are currently experiencing an outage should be prepared to be without power for at least the rest of the day, CenterPoint said Monday afternoon.
As the Texas electric system faces an unprecedented power shortage due to extreme winter weather, Texans’ electricity consumption is far surpassing the state’s current power generation.
The current estimated number of customers without power due to the request for reduced load is approximately 1.162 million, while an additional 62,500 customers are without power due to other storm related events.
Customers who do have power are asked to reduce their electricity use to the lowest level possible.
On Monday morning, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which is responsible for scheduling power and ensuring the reliability of the electrical network, declared a statewide power generation shortfall emergency and asked electricity delivery companies to reduce load through controlled outages.
As soon as generating capacity is brought back online and ERCOT permits, CenterPoint Energy will deploy resources to restore customers.
However, CenterPoint said if additional generating capacity goes offline, it will result in additional customer outages.
“How long is it going to be? I don’t know the answer,” said Kenny Mercado, executive vice president at the Houston utility. Mercado, said in an interview. “The generators are doing everything they can to get back on. But their work takes time and I don’t know how long it will take. But for us to move forward, we have got to get generation back onto the grid. That is our primary need.”
The power outages rolling through the state are expected to last through today and at least part of tomorrow, the state grid manager said Monday.
Just a thought here, but maybe this is a more important issue than whether or not sports teams play the Star Spangled Banner before their games. Just a thought.
Also, in case anyone was wondering:
That is a HUGE amount of gas capacity offline, about 30% of total ERCOT capacity and ~half of the natural gas fleet, according to Dec 2020 Capacity Demand and Reserves report here: http://ercot.com/content/wcm/lists/197379/CapacityDemandandReservesReport_Dec2020.xlsx
Devastating for reliability.
— Jesse Jenkins (@JesseJenkins) 10:22 AM – 15 February 2021
Like I said, maybe a more important issue than some of the effluvia that Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick have been talking about.