ERCOT issues conservation appeal for Tuesday due to low wind generation, thermal generation outages

Texans should conserve energy between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.

AUSTIN, Texas – ERCOT is requesting Texans to conserve energy on Tuesday evening as tight grid conditions are expected, despite the fact that temperatures across the state are only slightly above average.

Texans should conserve their electricity between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., if safe to do so, ERCOT said in a press release. Government entities and businesses are also urged to reduce their energy use.

ERCOT said operating reserves are expected to be low due to a “high level of unexpected thermal generation outages” and forecasted low wind generation.

As of 1 p.m., ERCOT said it is not experiencing emergency conditions. However, “Current forecasts are showing a potential to enter emergency operations this evening...” Click here to see the forecast demand and supply on ERCOT’s website.

“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,” the release states.

CPS Energy declared Tuesday a “Yellow Day” that calls for conservation between 5 and 9 p.m. after initially declaring it a “Green Day.” Under that conservation level, residents are asked to adjust their thermostats to minimize HVAC use and avoid using large appliances during peak demand. Click here to read more about CPS Energy’s levels.

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.

Why the Request to Reduce Usage?

  • Wind. Wind generation is forecasted to be lower this afternoon/evening during peak demand time.
  • Thermal Generation. High level of unexpected thermal generation outages.

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.

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.

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About the Authors:

Rebecca Salinas has worked in digital news for more than 10 years and joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

Sarah Spivey is a San Antonio native who grew up watching KSAT. She has been a proud member of the KSAT Weather Authority Team since 2017. Sarah is a Clark High School and Texas A&M University graduate. She previously worked at KTEN News. When Sarah is not busy forecasting, she enjoys hanging out with her husband and cat, and playing music.