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ERCOT issues Weather Watch for Texas

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Editor’s Note: The above video provides tips on what to do if you’re experiencing heat-related illness.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) issued a weather watch from Wednesday, Aug. 23 through Sunday, Aug. 27 “due to forecasted high temperatures, higher electrical demand and potential for lower reserves,” according to a press release.

ERCOT said there is currently enough capacity to meet forecasted demand and no action is currently necessary, the release said.

On Sunday, ERCOT set a new all-time weekend peak demand record of 85,116 MW. The current all-time peak demand record of 85,435 MW was set on Aug. 10, the release said.

In 2022, the August peak demand was 78,465 MW, ERCOT said.

The 6-day Supply and Demand dashboard, which will update in real-time, shows there’s a possibility of new all-time peak demand records this week, the release said.

ERCOT’s new notification system

For anyone who wants to sign up for grid condition notifications via the Texas Advisory and Notification System (TXANS) can visit the ERCOT website.

ERCOT hopes the TXANS system will help increase transparency and trust, ERCOT President and CEO Pablo Vegas previously said.

Understanding ERCOT’s alert levels

ERCOT has several different Energy Emergency Alert levels, or EEAs. After Normal Grid Conditions, the levels are Conservation Alert level, then EEA 1, 2, and 3.

Here’s what the alert levels mean:

  • Conservation Alert: This is a voluntary request to reduce electrical use, ERCOT said. While ERCOT said it is not in emergency operations, it asks the public and “all government agencies to implement all programs to reduce energy use at their facilities.”
  • Energy Emergency Level 1: Conservation is considered to be critical. We reach this stage when operating reserves drop below 2,300 MW and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes.
  • Emergency Level 2: Triggered when reserves are less than 1,750 MW and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes. At this point, ERCOT can reduce demand on the system by interrupting power from large industrial customers who have contractually agreed to have their electricity turned off during an emergency.
  • Emergency Level 3: The final level hits when reserves drop below 1,430 MW. If operating reserves then drop below 1,000 MW and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes and/or the grid’s frequency level cannot be maintained at 60 Hz, then ERCOT will implement “controlled outages,” also known as rolling blackouts.
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