Wind Turbine Fail: Texas Grid Operator Begs Texans to Turn Off Appliances During Peak Hours to Avoid Rolling Blackouts Amid Heat Wave and Very Low Winds
Another wind turbine fail.
Texas grid operator ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) issued a conservation alert on Monday.
ERCOT manages electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers and represents 90% of the state’s electric load, according to the company.
ERCOT asked customers to voluntarily raise thermostats a degree or two, turn off lights, avoid using ovens, washing machines and dryers, and unplug appliances if possible during the hours of 2-8 pm.
According to ERCOT, a heatwave along with very low winds is causing the latest conservation alert.
“Wind generation is currently generating significantly less than what it historically generated in this time period,” ERCOT said in a press release. “Current projections show wind generation coming in less than 10 percent of its capacity.”
Factors driving the need for this important action by customers:
- Record high electric demand. The heat wave that has settled on Texas and much of the central United States is driving increased electric use. Other grid operators are operating under similar conservative operations programs as ERCOT due to the heatwave.
- Low wind. While solar power is generally reaching near full generation capacity, wind generation is currently generating significantly less than what it historically generated in this time period. Current projections show wind generation coming in less than 10 percent of its capacity.
ERCOT said it should be able to avoid rolling blackouts this week.
— ERCOT (@ERCOT_ISO) July 11, 2022
Recall, Texas got hit with a rare cold snap in February 2021 that spanned to the southern part of the state and the power grids gave out.
Power outages were initiated by ERCOT during the cold snap.
Millions of Texans went without electricity for several days in a row last year.
Temperatures fell into the teens near Dallas and 20s around Houston with wind chills near zero.
According to state authorities, nearly half of the wind turbines in Texas froze, hurting the power supplies.
Millions of Texans suffered blackouts partly due to the frozen wind turbines.
And now Texans are being asked to raise their thermostats in the middle of summer because of low wind generation.