The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is a nonprofit corporation authorized by the Texas Legislature to manage the reliable supply of electric power to 24 million Texans, including residents and businesses in CoServ's service territory.
Before every summer and winter, ERCOT forecasts potential electricity demand and capacity. For the summer of 2018, ERCOT has forecast a record peak demand, fueled by the strong Texas economy. (“Peak” is defined as the highest hourly power demand that occurs over the course of the summer.)
ERCOT currently expects to have sufficient generation to meet peak customer demand this summer. If this changes, however, and it appears that demand will exceed supply, ERCOT will initiate its Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) system. Alerts range from calls for conservation to a declaration of a statewide power emergency that could result in “rotating outages”— controlled, planned service interruptions designed to ensure grid stability. For links to download the ERCOT app, which provides real-time grid conditions, click here.
||YELLOW: ERCOT may call upon consumers to take steps to conserve power. Consumers can help by turning their thermostats up 2 to 3 degrees between 3 and 7 p.m.
||ORANGE: Energy Emergency Level 1: Conservation is needed. Reserves remain below 2,300 MW. ERCOT operators have the authority to call on all available power supplies, including power from other grids, if available. Under current pilots, some demand response resources also are available.
||RED: Energy Emergency Level 2: Conservation is critical. Reserves remain below 2,300 MW. Operators drop large commercial/industrial load resources that have entered contracts agreeing to be interrupted during an emergency.
||BLACK: Energy Emergency Level 3: Reserves remain below 2,300 MW. Sections of the ERCOT system are at high risk of rotating outages or rotating outages are in progress, typically lasting 15 to 45 minutes per neighborhood.
We work closely with state and local officials to prepare for the demand a growing economy brings. Learn more about the Electric Reliability Council of Texas on its "Quick Facts" page or visit ERCOT.com.
KNOW THE FAQs
What are rotating outages?
Rotating outages are controlled, temporary interruptions of electrical service initiated by ERCOT, the state grid operator, when the power needed to run the statewide grid is not matched by the power being provided by generation companies. In these situations, ERCOT instructs utilities statewide—including CoServ Electric—to reduce consumer demand on the grid by conducting temporary outages at the local distribution level.
Is the possibility of such outages greater this summer? If so, why?
Yes. Several power plants in Texas were shut down recently, causing a reduction in generation capacity of about 5,000 MW. Coupled with the higher demand because of the residential and commercial growth Texas is experiencing and expected higher temperatures, ERCOT expects a record-breaking peak demand this summer.
Is CoServ prepared for the possibility of a rotating outage?
Yes. Since March, several teams have met weekly to ensure that CoServ responds quickly to ERCOT’s rotating outage request. In addition, CoServ conducts weekly phone drills with Brazos Electric Cooperative, its generation and transmission provider, to confirm that lines of communication are open, and is in direct communication with ERCOT, as well.
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