A historic winter storm has hit Texas on Monday. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has initiated rolling controlled outages to manage the flow of electric power to residents in the state. The website states, “rotating outages are controlled, temporary interruptions of electrical service implemented by utilities to reduce demand and preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole.”
According to its website, ERCOT “manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers—representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load.” Unfortunately, the controlled rolling outages did not go exactly as planned. On Monday, Fox News reported that the storm has left 2.5 million people without power.
At 1:25 a.m. on Feb. 15, ERCOT announced on its site a “Conservation Critical” warning—or an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) level 3. The regional entity for the central United States, Southwest Power Pool (SPP), followed later calling for a level 3 at 10:08 a.m.,
“ERCOT has issued an EEA level 3 because electric demand is very high right now, and supplies can’t keep up. Reserves have dropped below 1,000 MW and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes; as a result, ERCOT has ordered transmission companies to reduce demand on the system…This type of demand reduction is only used as a last resort to preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole.”
Level 3 Energy Emergency Alert
According to the press release, SPP reported that in its “history as a grid operator, this is an unprecedented event and marks the first time SPP has ever had to call for controlled interruptions of service,