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ERCOT back to regular conditions; request for conservation ends

ERCOT back to regular conditions; request for conservation ends

Updated at 8 p.m. Friday, June 18

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas [ERCOT] ended its request for conservation and returned to normal operations Friday evening. 

We want to thank CoServ Members for their efforts to conserve energy this week, especially between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The grid manager first issued the request for conservation Monday afternoon and kept it in place throughout the week after several unplanned outages left ERCOT with less generation than they had planned. An unplanned outage occurs when a plant goes offline unexpectedly because of a repair or equipment failure.

The summer heat pushed demand to a new June record of 69,943 megawatts, surpassing the old record by approximately 820 MW, ERCOT said. 

ERCOT posted the following message at approximately 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 15: 

AUSTIN, TX, June 15, 2021 – When ERCOT issued a call for conservation on Monday, Texans responded strongly by reducing electric demand during the late afternoon. ERCOT continues to encourage Texans to conserve power each afternoon during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m. through this Friday.

The grid is operating exactly as it was designed and intended. The issuance of conservation notices is a common practice and prevents ERCOT from entering emergency conditions. Conservation efforts combined with the changes in procedures and processes implemented by ERCOT and the PUC following the winter storm prevented the possibility of rotating outages yesterday and ensured that no Texans lost power.

"We know it can be tough to change family routines, but yesterday is proof that simple conservation measures really do make a difference," said ERCOT Interim President and CEO Brad Jones. "Conservation notices are commonly-used tools used by utilities and system operators across the country to ensure the reliability of the electric grid. If possible, Texans should apply that same effort during peak hours from 3 to 7 p.m. this week until conditions return to normal."

ERCOT has been leveraging every resource at its disposal, including activating all available generating units to help serve customer demand before calling for conservation. Approximately 1,200 MW of power was regained overnight Monday when some repairs were completed. One MW typically powers around 200 homes on a summer day.

Yesterday, ERCOT set a new June record for electricity demand. Based on preliminary data, the new record is 69,943 MW, which exceeds the 2018 June record by approximately 820 MW.

Power plant owners continue repairs of unexpected equipment failures, and ERCOT is using all the tools in its toolbox to maintain reliability in the face of potential record-setting electricity demand.

ERCOT posted the following message at approximately 1 pm Monday, June 14: 

AUSTIN, TX, June 14, 2021 – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking Texans to reduce electric use as much as possible today through Friday, June 18. A significant number of forced generation outages combined with potential record electric use for the month of June has resulted in tight grid conditions.

Generator owners have reported approximately 11,000 MW of generation is on forced outage for repairs; of that, approximately 8,000 MW is thermal and the rest is intermittent resources. According to the summer Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy, a typical range of thermal generation outages on hot summer days is around 3,600 MW. One MW typically powers around 200 homes on a summer day.

"We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service," said ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson. "This is unusual for this early in the summer season."

According to generation owners, the number of outages should decrease throughout the week.

Wind output for today is expected to be 3,500 to 6,000 MW between 3 and 9 p.m. This is roughly 1,500 MW lower than what is typically available for peak conditions. Wind output is expected to increase as the week goes on.

Today’s peak load forecast may exceed 73,000 MW. The peak demand record for June is 69,123 MW set on June 27, 2018 between 4 and 5 p.m.

Please take these simple actions to help reduce electric use:

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher – every degree of cooling increases your energy use by six to eight percent.
  • Turn off lights and pool pumps and avoid using large appliances like ovens, washing machines and dryers.
  • If you don’t need something – we are asking you to turn it off and unplug it if possible.

 Visit the Power to Save website or your electric provider for more ways to conserve.

How to track electricity demand

  • View daily peak demand forecast, current load and available generation at http://www.ercot.com.
  • Follow ERCOT on Twitter (@ERCOT_ISO) and Facebook (Electric Reliability Council of Texas).
  • Sign up for the ERCOT mobile app (available for download at the Apple App Store and Google Play).
  • Subscribe to the EmergencyAlerts list on http://lists.ercot.com.

Consumer assistance

Public Utility Commission of Texas Hotline – 1-888-782-8477

Additional resources

CoServ News 

CoServ Energy Detector: Ways to Save 

Who is ERCOT? 

Report an outage

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