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ERCOT: Rolling blackouts unlikely despite early summer heat, power plant outages

Rolling blackouts unlikely despite early summer heat, power plant outages
Posted at 10:24 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 23:28:11-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — While the Energy Reliability Council of Texas -- the agency that manages the state's power grid -- urges energy conservation this summer, ERCOT doesn't anticipate a repeat of this past February's dilemma.

With unseasonably warm temperatures increasing this summer's demand for electricity, and power-plant outages decreasing supply, concerns arose Monday about another power grid failure.

“At this time, today, it appears unlikely that we will have to enter an energy emergency alert," an ERCOT spokesperson said. "Rotating outages, or controlled outages, would occur in the last stage of an emergency energy alert."

When the temperature dropped below freezing for dozens of hours in the winter, Texas' power grid resorted to rolling outages to avoid a statewide blackout. That emergency alert led to millions of Texans going without power.

In some cases, residents were without electricity for days.

Subfreezing temperatures were partially to blame, but so were maintenance and unspecified problems at power plants.

A similar situation played out Monday, only with temperatures soaring near triple digits.

“This is a situation where they have to take their plant off line in order to fix something in order to remain in operations,” the ERCOT spokesperson said.

ERCOT said that it didn't have information on which plants were currently experiencing outages or why.

The energy agency, however, did provide some reassurance.

“We want you to know we share the same concerns of all Texans, and this is a priority to ensure that generators can perform as we head into the summer months," the spokesperson said. "And so we are immediately working to mitigate this risk.”