‘Intensity’ of freezing temperatures hindering power restoration efforts, CPS Energy CEO says

More than 250,000 customers still affected, outage map shows

CPS Energy: Most customers subject to rotating outages as winter weather continues

SAN ANTONIO – CPS Energy President and CEO Paula Gold-Williams said more freezing rain in Tuesday night’s forecast will prove to be a challenge in their efforts to restore power to hundreds of thousands of San Antonio residents.

As of 3 p.m., more than 250,000 customers were still out of power due to the frigid temperatures that have affected the ability to generate power, causing an imbalance that led Electric Reliability Council of Texas to order transmission owners across the state to “shed load” by scheduled outages.

But the “intensity of freezing temperatures have done some damage” to the utility company’s ability to provide power, Gold-Williams said.

“While we do see some improvement, we are not out of the woods,” she said.

Freezing drizzle and freezing rain are expected to kick in again Tuesday evening, icing roads again and threatening restoration efforts.

While CPS Energy strived to rotate outages, the imbalance has become so great that people may stay out of power for several hours longer through the historic cold snap.

Every source of energy — including wind, solar, coal, natural gas, and nuclear — was affected in some way by the temperatures, Gold-Williams said.

Roughly two-thirds of the CPS Energy grids continue to have rotating outages. The other one-third of the grid remains powered because those circuits power critical services, like a hospital, base or police department.

Because of the demand — which has surpassed the demand seen in the summer months — CPS officials are asking people to conserve energy when possible.

The dangerous cold air mass in San Antonio will keep temperatures below freezing for most of Tuesday. Partial melting will take place, only to see everything re-freeze Wednesday morning.

Some San Antonio residents without power told KSAT that they have resorted to bundling up or heading to their vehicles for a brief relief from their cold homes.

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