Update 9 p.m. – The conservation period has passed and the grid is under normal operations. The power supply/demand did get tight, as expected, but did not reach ERCOT Energy Emergency Alert status as it did on Wednesday. Thank you TVEC members who helped conserve this evening.
Tight Grid Conditions Wednesday Evening Edged Close to Rolling Outages
Wednesday evening saw very tight grid conditions that led the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to move to Energy Emergency Alert level 2, the last level of preventive measures before rolling outages begin.
Today’s Outlook is Similar
Similar grid conditions are forecast this evening, particularly in the 7-9 p.m. timeframe as solar generation drops off quickly but high demand is still in place as high temperatures persist.
We will update this post with additional information as the day progresses.
The biggest energy uses to tackle include raising the thermostat on air conditioners and delaying high-demand uses including ovens, clothes dryers and electric car charging. In this situation, reducing electric use in smaller items like lighting, water heating, unused electronics and water pumps for pools can also help.
View ERCOT’s current grid conditions and information here.
ERCOT’s Statement Requesting Conservation:
Sep. 7, 2023
ERCOT Expects Tight Grid Conditions, Requests Conservation Today from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. CT
(Austin, TX) – Due to continued high temperatures, high demand, low wind, and declining solar power generation this afternoon, operating reserves are expected to be low into the afternoon and evening hours. As a result, ERCOT is asking Texans to conserve electricity use, if safe to do so, today, September 7, from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. CT. ERCOT is expecting similar conditions tomorrow and will keep the public informed through our communications channels.
Today’s conservation appeal does not indicate ERCOT is experiencing emergency conditions at this time. Current forecasts are showing a potential for low reserves today because of continued high temperatures, high demand, low wind, and declining solar power generation into the afternoon and evening hours. ERCOT will continue to closely monitor conditions throughout the day and will keep the public informed through our communications channels.
Conservation is a widely used industry tool that can help lower demand for a specific period of peak demand time, which is typically late afternoon into the evening hours.
ERCOT is requesting all government agencies (including city and county offices) to implement all programs to reduce energy use at their facilities.
ERCOT continues to use additional tools to manage the grid reliably, including using reserve power, calling upon reductions by large electric customers that have volunteered to lower their energy use, and bringing more generation online sooner. ERCOT is also working with out-of-state Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Market Participants to obtain additional power generation capacity. ERCOT has obtained Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) enforcement discretion, which allows a generator to extend its service/run-time/operations to help meet demand, if needed, and maintain grid reliability.
ERCOT is taking additional precautionary measures by requesting from the Department of Energy (DOE) an order that would allow generating units within the ERCOT interconnection to operate up to their maximum generation output levels, if needed, and promptly respond if conditions warranted.
If you are experiencing an outage at this time, it is local in nature and not related to overall grid reliability. Please check with your local electric provider for more information. Energy-saving tips can be found on the TXANS webpage at ercot.com/txans.
Why the Request to Reduce Usage?
- Heat. Continued statewide high temperatures.
- Demand. Texas is seeing high demand due to the heat.
- Solar. Solar generation starts to decline earlier in the afternoon hours towards the end of summer before completely going offline at sunset.
- Wind. Wind generation is forecasted to be low this afternoon and into the evening hours during peak demand time.
- ERCOT set a new, all-time, unofficial peak demand record of 85,435 MW on August 10, 2023.
- ERCOT set a new all-time September peak demand record of 82,704 MW on September 6, 2023, surpassing the previous September peak of 81,674 MW set on September 5.
- This summer, ERCOT has set 10 new all-time peak demand records.
- Last summer, ERCOT set 11 new peak demand records with a high of 80,148 MW on July 20.
- Public Utility Commission of Texas Hotline: 1-888-782-8477
- Sign up for TXANS notifications on the TXANS webpage.
- Download the ERCOT Mobile App for additional notifications: iOS | Android.