by JIM MALEWITZ
AUSTIN — The operator of the electric grid that covers most of the state called for Texans to temporarily curb their electricity use for a few hours on Thursday afternoon as record-breaking demands strain the state’s energy resources.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the grid, is asking consumers to use less electricity wherever possible between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday – a time of the day when demand typically peaks.
The request comes in a scorching-hot week when energy use has surged across the grid, breaking three consecutive July records. Meanwhile, a few power plants have unexpectedly shut down and forecasters are expecting less wind power Thursday afternoon, the council said.
“This is a precautionary measure to help ensure we can maintain overall reliability during this high-demand period,” Dan Woodfin, director of operations at the council, known as ERCOT, said in a statement. “Voluntary conservation, especially during the late afternoon and early evening hours, can help us ensure reliability throughout the ERCOT grid.”
The Council offered these recommendations for limiting power use:
JIM MALEWITZ reports for The Texas Tribune where this story was originally published. It is made available here through a news partnership between the Texas Tribune and the San Marcos Mercury.
COVER: Grid technicians monitor screens at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ state-of-the-art backup control center in Bastrop. PHOTO by MARJORIE KAMYS COTERA/THE TEXAS TRIBUNEEmail | Print