A week ago some power plants unexpectedly stopped working, ERCOT still has no explanation as to why.
Last week, ERCOT released a Conservation Alert, asking Texans to reduce their electricity usage, amidst an insufficient supply and high demand issue. The news was met with great derision and many mocking memes.
After 12,000 megawatts of power generation unexpectedly went offline — enough to power 2.4 million households on a hot summer day — Texas’ main power grid operator asked Texans to set their thermostats to 78 degrees during the afternoon and evening for the week to reduce electricity demand on the grid.
At the end of last week, the warning made by ERCOT expired, without any public announcement by official authorities. Summer just started, the hottest months are yet to come and Texans can’t be sure that they will have a reliable power supply, since ERCOT has failed multiple times this year, mainly during the storm in February that left millions of Texans freezing and without electricity.
ERCOT has been heavily criticized over the course of the year for its lack of transparency. As of today, they have yet to reveal which power plants were shut down last week, let alone how many.
The only information that has been made available to the public is that about 9,600 megawatts, or over 80%, of the approximately 12,000 megawatts of output that went offline last Monday came from thermal power sources. Last Monday, less than 500 megawatts of thermal generation were scheduled to be taken offline for maintenance. This information contradicts Gov. Abbott’s claims made regarding this issue that the power plants that were shut down were being repaired in preparation for the summer heat.
Whether the Texas grid will continue to have power outages is yet to be seen, but the responses made by ERCOT as of today leave no one satisfied.