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ERCOT Operating on Thin Margins

August 25, 2023 – As record heat continues all across Texas, cooler temperatures cannot come soon enough to give Texas’ Power Grid some needed relief. ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) has issued several Voluntary Conservation Requests across Texas during the heat wave as the difference between forecasted supply and demand on the grid has been very narrow. As the pastel lines on the graph below get closer together, the danger of rolling blackouts across the state increases. This danger usually reaches the critical stages in late afternoon and early evening hours when solar panels stop producing any output to the grid and winds slow down bringing turbines to a stop as well.

The next choice for ERCOT after Voluntary Conservation Requests becomes Energy Emergency Alert. If and when ERCOT enters that final stage, more drastic measures are taken to keep electricity flowing to as many people as possible.

System-wide emergency supply and demand conditions

  • EEA Level 1
    Low reserves. Tools deployed to meet demand
  • EEA Level 2
    Lower reserves. Additional tools deployed to meet demand
  • EEA Level 3
    Extremely low energy reserves. Controlled outages possible

Find out more about current Electrical Grid conditions on ERCOT’s website.

Author: Chad Young

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