ERCOT Claims Grid Ready for Winter

high-voltage towers
Ice covered high-voltage towers | Image by SV Production/Shutterstock

Texas power grid officials claimed the state power grid is prepared for the winter season, with some new programs and protocols in place designed to prevent surprise power outages.

The Texas electrical grid, which is managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), has been dealing with a number of stressors due to severe weather conditions, both hot and cold in Texas, including the historic failure of the grid during Winter Storm Uri in February 2021. More recently, ERCOT announced the grid had entered Energy Emergency Alert Level 2 operations in mid-September due to record demand and high temperatures, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Earlier this month, ERCOT requested an increase in operating reserves to prepare for the winter season. The organization has since claimed that the grid is ready for the upcoming winter season.

“Based on expected weather conditions, ERCOT anticipates there will be sufficient generation to meet customer demand this winter,” said ERCOT on its website. “ERCOT will continue to deploy all available tools to manage the grid reliably and coordinate closely with the Public Utility Commission [PUC], generation resource owners, and transmission utilities to ensure they are also prepared.”

Electric company representatives and ERCOT officials gathered at the Texas PUC’s Winter Preparedness workshop last Friday to discuss preparedness logistics in anticipation of the upcoming winter season. Brandon Manley, senior weatherization analyst for ERCOT, said during the meeting that ERCOT has successfully met its “targeted” weatherization inspections of the state’s 1,300 power generation facilities and is ahead of schedule, according to Fox 4 KDFW.

Industry representatives also gave their own briefings on how they are preparing for winter. Gary Jones, Oncor’s director of energy efficiency, said his organization has launched a new program that would provide service to over 30,000 residences.

“Oncor will be offering both residential and commercial load management programs this winter,” said Jones, per Fox 4. “The residential program is a new program we are kicking off this winter.”

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