Feb 2 (Reuters) – Texas utility provider ERCOT said on Wednesday it forecast a high energy demand through Sunday due to a winter storm.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said that frozen precipitation could cause local outages, adding it issued a “winter weather watch” through Sunday.
A deadly deep freeze last year crippled the state’s electric grid, leaving millions without power in freezing temperatures.
“With frozen precipitation there is always a chance for local outages caused by things like ice on wires or fallen tree limbs,” ERCOT said in an emailed statement.
ERCOT asked state environmental regulators to allow power plants to exceed their air pollution limits so the plants can remain online to meet high expected demand through Sunday.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) told ERCOT that “it will use its enforcement discretion in evaluating generation facility exceedances of emission.”
ERCOT projected on its website that peak demand will rise from about 49,660 megawatts (MW) on Wednesday to about 65,736 MW on Thursday and 71,890 MW on Friday. (Reporting by Kanishka Singh, Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru and Scott DiSavino in New York; Editing by Will Dunham)