ERCOT declares Level 1 emergency due to heat wave, responsive reserves below 2,300MW

Source: Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), system operator for the state’s bulk transmission grid, has initiated Energy Emergency Alert Level 1 due to responsive reserves below 2,300 megawatts (MW).
ERCOT is asking consumers and businesses to reduce their electricity use during peak electricity hours from 3 to 7 p.m. and the rest of the week and weekend. 

"The ERCOT region is continuing to experience record-high temperatures throughout the state which is causing high electricity usage,” said Kent Saathoff, vice president of system planning and operations. “We have lost some additional generation, as well, so there is a good chance we will need to implement the first stage of our emergency procedures today.” 

Peak electricity demand is forecast to be more than 67,000 MW. The current all-time peak demand record is 68,294 MW, which occurred on Aug. 3, 2011. Prior to this year, the record was 65,776 MW, Aug. 23, 2010. One megawatt powers about 200 average homes in Texas during summer conditions.

The Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) procedures are a progressive series of steps that allow ERCOT to bring on power from other grids if available, beginning with a Power Watch (Energy Emergency Alert Level 1).
If the situation does not improve, ERCOT escalates to a Power Warning (Energy Emergency Alert Level 2), allowing operators to drop large commercial/industrial load resources under contract to be interrupted during an emergency. 

If the capacity shortage is not relieved by the contract demand response, ERCOT escalates to a Power Emergency (Energy Emergency Alert Level 3) and will instruct utilities to reduce demand on the grid by conducting temporary outages at the local distribution level. These controlled temporary interruptions of electrical service – or rotating outages – typically last 15-45 minutes before being rotated to a different neighborhood. 

Consumers have been advised to contact the utility company/ transmission provider listed on their electric bill for information about power outages at their homes or business, or about rotating outage procedures for their area.
Real-time notices of energy emergency alerts are also available by following ERCOT on Twitter.

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