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May 19, 2022

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Texas power grid operator urges residents to conserve energy as plants go offline

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Texas residents are being asked to conserve power after six power plants tripped offline. 

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the majority of the state’s power grid, wrote Friday that the incident resulted in the loss of approximately 2,900 megawatts of electricity. 

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“At this time, all generation resources available are operating. We’re asking Texans to conserve power when they can by setting their thermostats to 78-degrees or above and avoiding the usage of large appliances (such as dishwashers, washers and dryers) during peak hours between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. through the weekend.,” wrote ERCOT Interim CEO Brad Jones. 

The operator highlighted that unseasonably hot weather is driving “record demand” across the Lone Star State. 

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A spokesperson for ERCOT told The Texas Tribune on Friday that it does not expect electricity blackouts this weekend, that all reserve power was operating to support the grid and that Friday’s outages were unrelated to recent maintenance delays. 

According to Fox Weather, temperatures in the 90s and 100s will impact Texas through the weekend and into the workweek. 

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While it is not uncommon to ask customers to conserve – especially under abnormal weather conditions – ERCOT has been the subject of reviews and criticism after a deadly winter storm in Feb. 2021 left some residents without heat for days. 

Hundreds of people died amid subfreezing temperatures, and ERCOT leaders and Gov. Greg Abbott have since assured that work has made the grid more reliable.