Texas grid back to 'normal conditions' after state's energy demand nearly surpassed supply

KTRK logo
Thursday, September 7, 2023
'Normal conditions' resume after Texas enters 'Emergency Alert 2'
The state nearly experienced a point where demand surpassed supply Wednesday evening during a "conservation appeal" period.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The state's power grid resumed "normal conditions" after Texas entered "Energy Emergency Alert 2" just halfway through an three-hour appeal to conserve on Wednesday evening.

By 9 p.m., which was the scheduled end to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' conservation appeal period, ERCOT's dashboard showed that there was enough power for the demand at the time.

Earlier in the day, ERCOT and the Public Utility Commission of Texas revealed that forecasting suggested possible emergency operations during the evening.

"Continued high temperatures, high demand, low wind, and declining solar power generation will result in anticipated low operating reserves for the Texas power grid this evening," the Public Utility Commission of Texas announced.

To highlight how dangerously close demand was to the supply capacity, ERCOT's grid conditions meter at 7:35 p.m. showed committed capacity at 78,634 megawatts, with a demand of 76,698 megawatts, which meant Texas was fewer than 2,000 megawatts away from demand surpassing supply.

You can always check grid conditions on the ERCOT website.

ERCOT explains Energy Emergency Alerts

When reserves on the system get low, ERCOT begins emergency operations using three levels of Energy Emergency Alerts (EEAs). These levels provide access to additional power sources only available during emergency conditions to protect the reliability of the electric system. Entering Emergency Operations does not mean that ERCOT is expecting to call for controlled power outages, which would affect all customer classes, including residential, commercial, and industrial. Entering Emergency Operations means that ERCOT has access to more power reserves that help prevent power outages.

An EEA 2 is issued when ERCOT's operating reserves have dropped below 1,750 MWs and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes. Controlled outages have not been requested at this time, however, they could become necessary if demand isn't lowered or additional supply cannot be added from generators.