More A/C Please: What’s Your Deal, Texas Power Grid?
Did you go shopping or out to a restaurant this weekend? Notice it was warmer inside than usual?
Summer came early this year in the Lone Star State, with triple digits for most Texans over the last few days. On top of the heat, everyone in the state was asked to keep their air conditioners at 78, and limit usage of major appliances amid warnings of power outages.
Six Texas Generators Failed
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) asked users state-wide to conserve usage after six power generation facilities went offline Friday, losing enough electricity to power around 580,000 homes. No major outages were reported in Temple or Killeen this weekend. However, a recent boil water notice caused by a power loss at the Belton Water Plant was a result of equipment failure, according to KWKT.
CNN reported that Governor Greg Abbott was repeatedly criticized on social media about power issues, especially since he had previously claimed Texas had a strong power grid when powerful snowstorms were approaching in early February.
Power Grid Status
If you want to check your electricity supply, the grid conditions meter shows current conditions and the amount of operating reserves. This will also show you whether the grid is under strain, as well as when users need to conserve power.
Here's a breakdown of ERCOT's Energy Emergency Alert system:
- Green: Normal conditions
- Yellow: Energy conservation requested, users asked to limit appliance use and adjust thermostats.
- Orange (Emergency Level 1): Emergency operations have begun. Conservation needed. Reduced energy reserves.
- Red (Emergency Level 2): Conservation is critical. Continued low reserves. Those with urgent medical needs should register with their local utility, and have a backup plan in place.
- Black (Emergency Level 3): The highest level of emergency operations. Controlled outages in progress. Health and safety should be made a priority by using city or county instruction.