News Release

February 02, 2011

Conservation Still Critical -- 12:01 pm

ERCOT is urging all consumers who can reduce their energy consumption to do so at this time. Severe weather has led to the loss of more than 50 generation units – more than 7,000 MW, and additional units are continuing to trip offline due to the extreme cold temperatures. ERCOT Grid Operations has asked the utilities/transmission providers to implement rotating outages until the load is reduced through conservation and restoration of generation units. Conservation is very critical at this time to reduce the load on the system.

Rotating outages are controlled, temporary interruptions of electrical service initiated by each utility when supplies of reserve power are exhausted. Without this safety valve, generators would overload and begin shutting down to avoid damage, risking a domino effect of a state-wide outage.

As of noon, 2000 MW of the rotating outages had been restored, and 2000 MW remains under rotating outages.

One megawatt is roughly enough to power 200 homes in extreme temperatures.  

Previous news releases below and on website: http://www.ercot.com/news/press_releases/. (To receive news releases by email, go to the Email List Manager (http://lists.ercot.com/) and select "News_Bulletins.")

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 25 million Texas customers -- representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 600+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for nearly 8 million premises in competitive choice areas.. ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.

Contact
512-275-7432
media@ercot.com