ERCOT energy conservation appeal ends at 10 p.m. Thursday

Grid conditions are expected to be normal, ERCOT says

SAN ANTONIOUPDATE 9:30 p.m.: ERCOT will end its conservation appeal for Thursday at 10 p.m. It issued the following statement Thursday night:

“The Conservation Appeal will end at 10 p.m. on 8/24. Grid conditions are expected to be normal. Thank you to Texas residents & businesses for your conservation efforts, which along with additional reliability tools, helped us to get through a tight peak time.

“A Weather Watch remains in effect through 8/27 due to continued high temperatures, high demand, and the potential for lower reserves.”

(Previously)

Residents across Texas should brace for “a very strong probability” of power outages Thursday afternoon and evening, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.

The rolling outages would occur most likely between 6-9 p.m. in 15-minute increments, Nirenberg said during an afternoon press conference.

“I want to be very clear, this is a statewide issue and not a result of generation issues with CPS Energy” Nirenberg said. “The demand for energy across all of Texas is outpacing the state’s generation capacity. In load shed events, all ERCOT members must participate in rolling outages.”

Nirenberg said the city is working with the county, CPS Energy and SAWS to conserve energy.

Residents are being urged to raise their thermostats and avoid using large appliances such as ovens, washers and driers.

The conservation warning comes about three hours after ERCOT issued an appeal for Texans to conserve electricity use from 3-10 p.m. Thursday.

ERCOT said the appeal comes due to low wind-power generation and high energy demand, which is expected to reduce operating reserves for several hours.

While CPS Energy President and CEO Rudy Garza called the energy situation a “load shed event,” he said this will be much different than the winter storm in February 2021.

Nirenberg said the city may send wireless emergency alerts beginning at 4:30 p.m. to let residents know about the situation.

Here are five ways to prepare your household for a power outage.

  • Remain Calm. Follow instructions from officials and local authorities.
  • Find An Alternate Power Source. Plan for batteries and alternative power sources to meet your needs when the power goes out, such as a portable charger or power bank. Have flashlights ready. Remember, never use a generator indoors.
  • Know Your Medical Needs. If you rely on electricity for any medical needs, make a power outage plan for medical devices or refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
  • Appliances. Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
  • Food Storage. Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. A refrigerator will keep food cold for four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. If you are in doubt, monitor temperatures with a thermometer and throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher. Maintain a few days’ supply of nonperishable food and water.

The mayor said all city libraries will be open until 9 p.m. as cooling centers for residents.

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David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.