On Thursday, expect scorching triple-digit temperatures, minimal breeze, and plenty of sunshine. In the afternoon and evening, there is once again a likelihood of a severe situation on the Texas power grid, prompting a call for conservation from ERCOT.

On Thursday morning, the ERCOT (Electricity Reliability Council of Texas) said, “Due to continuous high temperatures, high demand, low wind, and a decrease in solar energy production this afternoon, we expect a reduction in operational reserves during the afternoon and evening.”

ERCOT is not currently in an emergency mode, and controlled outages are not required at this moment.

For the afternoon, the ERSIOT Supply and Demand Dashboard showed a decline in supply and demand. However, around 7 p.m., demand outstripped supply.

ERCOT has encouraged Texans to limit their energy consumption from 5 p.m. on Wednesday to 9 p.m. on Thursday.

The ERSO (Estonian Transmission System Operator) issued a Level 2 energy emergency notice on Wednesday night due to a lack of electricity reserves. This is the first time the agency has issued a Level 2 notice due to dwindling supplies since 2021.

Texans heard the alert and saved enough electricity on Wednesday to avoid “load shedding” or a blackout.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been deactivated, indicating that the grid has been operational since Wednesday night. Meanwhile, the weather alert issued earlier this week will be valid until September 8th.

In the field of Emergency Response and Crisis Management (ERCM), there are several different levels of energy emergency warnings. After normal grid conditions, we have the Level 1, 2, and 3 alerts, following the Conservation Warning Level.

The following are the alert levels:

  • Conservation Alert: This is a voluntary request to reduce electrical use, ERCOT said. While ERCOT said it is not in emergency operations, it asks the public and “all government agencies to implement all programs to reduce energy use at their facilities.”
  • Energy Emergency Level 1: Conservation is considered to be critical. We reach this stage when operating reserves drop below 2,300 MW and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes.
  • Emergency Level 2: Triggered when reserves are less than 1,750 MW and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes. At this point, ERCOT can reduce demand on the system by interrupting power from large industrial customers who have contractually agreed to have their electricity turned off during an emergency.
  • Emergency Level 3: The final level hits when reserves drop below 1,430 MW. If operating reserves then drop below 1,000 MW and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes and/or the grid’s frequency level cannot be maintained at 60 Hz, then ERCOT will implement “controlled outages,” also known as rolling blackouts.

What can I do to assist?

ERCOT is asking Texans to take modest power-saving measures to help lower grid demand.

  • Raise the thermostat by a degree or two, if safe to do so.
  • Avoid using large appliances like washers and dryers.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
  • Set pool pumps to run early morning or overnight instead of peak hours.

What is the purpose of the request to reduce usage?

  • Heat. Continued statewide high temperatures.
  • Demand. Texas is seeing high demand due to the heat.
  • Solar. Solar generation starts to decline earlier in the afternoon hours towards the end of summer before completely going offline at sunset.
  • Wind. Wind generation is forecasted to be low this evening during peak demand time.

strategies for lowering power use in households and businesses are accessible on the PUCT’s Power to Save website, and more energy-saving strategies are available at TXANS (ercot.com).

Peak Demand

  • ERCOT set a new, all-time, unofficial peak demand record of 85,435 MW on August 10, 2023.
  • ERCOT set a new all-time September peak demand record of 81,674 MW on September 5, 2023, surpassing the previous September peak of 78,459 MW set on September 4.
  • This summer, ERCOT has set 10 new all-time peak demand records
  • Last summer, ERCOT set 11 new peak demand records with a high of 80,148 MW on July 20.

Help for Customers

Public Utility Commission of Texas Hotline: 1-888-782-8477

To Stay Up to Date

  • Sign up for TXANS notifications on the TXANS
  • Download the ERCOT Mobile App for additional notifications: iOSAndroid.
  • Monitor real-time and extended conditions at ercot.com.
  • Subscribe to ERCOT Emergency Alerts which are not sent through TXANS notifications.
  • Follow ERCOT on Twitter (@ERCOT_ISO), Facebook (Electric Reliability Council of Texas), and LinkedIn (ERCOT).

KEY POINTS

The council never had to utilize controlled outages, instead just deploying more resources.

ERCOT continues to urge everyone to limit their electricity consumption.

The Conservation Appeal is in effect until 9 p.m.

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