Austin, Texas (September 7, 2023) – Continued high temperatures, high demand, low wind and declining solar power generation will result in anticipated low operating reserves for the Texas power grid this afternoon and into the evening. The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) is echoing a call from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) asking Texans to conserve electricity use, if safe to do so, today from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. CT. ERCOT expects similar conditions tomorrow and, along with the PUCT, will keep the public informed through their communication channels.
ERCOT is not experiencing emergency conditions at this time. Current forecasts show 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 and the PUCT will continue to closely monitor conditions throughout the day and keep the public informed through multiple communication 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. The PUCT’s Power to Save website has tips for reducing electricity use in homes and businesses and other energy saving tips are available at TXANS (ercot.com).
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 also requested 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 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. If you need further assistance, you can contact the PUCT’s Customer Protection Division by calling 1-888-782-8477 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
- Download the ERCOT Mobile App for additional notifications: iOS| Android.
- Monitor real-time and extended conditions at ercot.com.
- Subscribe to ERCOT Emergency Alerts, which are not sent through TXANS notifications.
- Follow ERCOT on Twitter (@ERCOT_ISO), Facebook (Electric Reliability Council of Texas), and LinkedIn (ERCOT)
Submitted press release