ERCOT ends Energy Emergency Alert Level 2, asks residents to reduce electric use

Texans should reduce energy use, ERCOT says

FILE - (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

AUSTIN, TexasUPDATE 8:40 p.m.: CPS Energy said it would return to its Yellow Alert after ERCOT’s Energy Emergency Alert Level 2 has been discontinued. ERCOT said Wednesday night that it would be “returning to normal operations. Reducing electric use is still encouraged.”

(Original Story)

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ERCOT is urging Texans to conserve energy on Wednesday evening, issuing an Energy Emergency Alert Level 2.

“Please reduce electric use. If you have medical needs, contact your local utility, and have a backup plan,” ERCOT said Wednesday night.

Texans should conserve their electricity between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., ERCOT said in a press release. Government entities and businesses are also urged to reduce their energy use.

“At this time, there are no power outages associated with the ERCOT power grid. ERCOT will continue to monitor conditions and deploy all available tools as part of our reliability-first approach to operations. ERCOT continues to request Texans conserve electricity use,” officials said Wednesday night.

ERCOT said an Energy Emergency Alert Level 2 issued when operating reserves have dropped below 1,750 MWs and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes.

“Controlled outages have not been requested at this time, however, could become necessary if demand isn’t lowered or additional supply cannot be added from generators,” ERCOT said.

CPS Energy issued an Orange Alert and offered customers the following tips:

  • Limit power usage
  • Prepare for possible loss of power
  • Prepare to implement your household plan for emergencies
  • Be ready to initiate your plan for alternative operation of medical devices, if needed
  • Turn off pool pumps
  • Avoid charging electric vehicles (EV), or charge overnight

Click here to see the forecast demand and supply on ERCOT’s website.

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.
  • Heat - Continued statewide high temperatures.
  • Demand - Texas is seeing high demand due to the heat.
  • Solar - Solar generation starts to decline earlier in the afternoon hours towards the end of summer 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.
  • ERCOT set a new all-time September peak demand record of 81,674 MW on September 5, 2023, surpassing the previous September peak of 78,459 MW set on September 4.
  • 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.

Where to find more information

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About the Authors:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.

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.