ERCOT issues conservation appeal for Saturday amid expectation for tight grid conditions

CPS Energy says there’s a potential to enter emergency operations from 6-9 p.m.

ERCOT issues conservation appeal for Saturday amid expectation for tight grid conditions.

AUSTIN, Texas – ERCOT and CPS Energy are urging Texans to conserve their energy use on Saturday evening due to the expectation for tight grid conditions.

Between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., operating reserves are expected to be low due to high demand and low wind power generation, according to ERCOT. Texans should conserve their energy use between that time if safe to do so, authorities said.

CPS Energy added that there is a potential to enter emergency operations on Saturday and Sunday evenings between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

This is the third day in a row that ERCOT appealed for conservation in evening hours.

“Similar to yesterday, today’s conservation appeal does not indicate ERCOT is experiencing emergency conditions at this time,” a news release states. “Current forecasts are showing a potential to enter emergency operations this evening because of expected low wind and potential low solar generation and high demand. ERCOT will continue to closely monitor conditions throughout the day and will keep the public informed through our communications channels.”

ERCOT is also requesting all government agencies, including city and county offices, to implement all programs to reduce energy use at their facilities.

ERCOT is using 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.

It is also working with out-of-state Independent System Operators and Market Participants to obtain additional power generation capacity.

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. Energy-saving tips can be found on the TXANS webpage.

According to ERCOT, 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.

Why the Request to Reduce Usage?

  • Extreme Heat. Continued statewide extreme temperatures.
  • Record Demand. Texas continues to experience near-record demand due to the heat.
  • Wind. Wind generation is forecasted to be lower this afternoon/evening and throughout the weekend during peak demand time.
  • Solar. Solar generation is potentially lower this afternoon before completely going offline at sunset.

Peak Demand

  • ERCOT set a new, all-time, unofficial peak demand record of 85,435 MW on August 10, 2023.
  • In 2022, the August peak demand was 78,465 MW.
  • 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.

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