Electricity

AUSTIN – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) continues to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. During the overnight hours, ERCOT was able to restore approximately 3,500 MW of load, which is roughly 700,000 households.

"We know millions of people are suffering," said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. "We have no other priority than getting them electricity. No other priority."

City leaders issued statements this week, addressing the frustration of many residents, some of whom have been without power altogether.

"I know that many of you are frustrated with the rolling electrical blackouts and outages that the citizens of Weatherford are experiencing," Mayor Paul Paschall said. "My family and I are enduring exactly the same. The strength and longevity of the current weather event has caused difficulty for many in our community."

"The disruptions are due to fuel shortages, grid overload and mechanical failures within the ERCOT system. Simply stated, the system that ERCOT has designed and maintains has not performed adequately."

All Texas cities, including Mineral Wells and Weatherford, are bound to require with ERCOT's requests for demand reduction through rolling blackouts, and have no local control on the situation.

The situation leaves local governments dealing with questions from residents that they cannot answer.

"We do not know when your power will come back on," Mineral Wells Mayor Regan Wallace Johnson said Wednesday. "While there were many that had power restored last night I know there are still many pockets of areas with out. If you are medically dependent on electricity and in a medical crisis, call 911."

As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, ERCOT was instructing local utilities to shed 14,000 MW of load representing around 2.8 million households.

"Although we’ve reconnected more consumers back to the grid, the aggregate energy consumption of customers (those recently turned back on and those already on) is actually lower this morning compared to yesterday because it’s less cold," said ERCOT Senior Director of System Operations Dan Woodfin. "However, we are anticipating another cold front this evening which could increase the demand."

"The ability to restore more power is contingent on more generation coming back online," said Woodfin. Since the winter storm began on Monday, approximately 185 generating units have tripped offline for one reason or another. Some factors include frozen wind turbines, limited gas supplies, low gas pressure and frozen instrumentation.

As of 9 a.m., approximately 46,000 MW of generation has been forced off the system during this extreme winter weather event. Of that, 28,000 MW is thermal and 18,000 MW is wind and solar.

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