UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am
ERCOT is urging all consumers who can reduce their energy consumption to do so at this time. Severe weather has led to the loss of more than 50 generation units – more than 7,000 MW, and additional units are continuing to trip offline due to the extreme cold temperatures. ERCOT Grid Operations has asked the utilities/transmission providers to implement rotating outages until the load is reduced through conservation and restoration of generation units. Conservation is very critical at this time to reduce the load on the system.
Rotating outages are controlled, temporary interruptions of electrical service initiated by each utility when supplies of reserve power are exhausted. Without this safety valve, generators would overload and begin shutting down to avoid damage, risking a domino effect of a state-wide outage.
As of noon, 2000 MW of the rotating outages had been restored, and 2000 MW remains under rotating outages.
One megawatt is roughly enough to power 200 homes in extreme temperatures.
Mid-Afternoon Update: ROTATING OUTAGES DISCONTINUED BUT CONSERVATION STILL NEEDED
ERCOT has issued a notice that rotating outages are no longer needed at this time; however, there is a strong possibility that they will be required again this evening or tomorrow, depending on how quickly the disabled generation units can be returned to service.
Please note that some consumers are still out of power due to the winter storm conditions.
Energy conservation is still critical during peak demand hours this evening between 6 and 10 pm.
We will continue providing these updates when new information is available.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has instructed utilities to begin rotating outages to compensate for a generation shortage due to numerous plant trips that occurred because of the extreme weather.
Rotating outages are controlled, temporary interruptions of electric service, typically lasting 10-45 minutes per neighborhood. The locations and durations are determined by the local utilities. Critical need customers such as hospitals and nursing homes are generally not included.
It is not known at this time how long the need for rotating outages will last.
Consumers and businesses are urged to reduce their electricity use to the lowest level possible, including these steps:
■Limit electricity usage to only that consumption which is absolutely necessary. Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.
■Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
■Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.
See more conservation tips at "Powerful Advice," Public Utility Commission of Texas: