Over Memorial Day weekend, 70 percent of Lubbock's electric consumption was switched to ERCOT. A few weeks later, and ERCOT is already asking customers to conserve energy.
It's hot across the State of Texas, and it's been hot for the last week or so. That means a lot of people are running air conditioners and using power.
On Monday afternoon ERCOT sent out a message on Twitter saying they are issuing "a Conservation Alert, and Texans are being asked to safely reduce their electric use."
According to the Texas Tribune, the state's main power grid is struggling to keep up with demand, which has prompted ERCOT to ask Texans to conserve energy until Friday, June 18th, 2021.
The last time ERCOT sent out any type of warning was back in April on a relatively mild day. The reason ERCOT sent a warning on that day was due to the number of outages due to repairs. Reporting by the Texas Tribune shows this could be same reasoning behind today's warning:
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said in a statement that a significant number of power plant outages combined with record use of electricity has resulted in tight grid conditions. Approximately 11,000 megawatts of generation is offline for repairs, or enough to power 2.2 million homes on a hot summer day. Typically, only about 3,600 megawatts of generation is offline during a summer day.
“This is unusual for this early in the summer season,” said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT vice president of grid planning and operations, in a statement. He said the grid operator would conduct an analysis to determine why so many units are offline this week.
Maintenance outages are more common during the spring and fall as power plants prepare for the extreme heat in the summer or extreme cold in the winter.
Whatever the reasoning might be, those in Lubbock can't be thrilled that just weeks into Lubbock joining ERCOT, there's already a warning being sent about conserving energy. I'm sure no one in Texas is too thrilled out that.
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