ERCOT Expects Tight Grid Conditions, Requests Conservation Tuesday, January 16, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. CT

Date:

(Austin, TX) – With the winter storm encompassing the entire state and temperatures forecasted to be colder this evening and into tomorrow morning, ERCOT is asking Texans to conserve electricity use, if safe to do so, Tuesday, January 16, from 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. CT.  ERCOT is forecasting higher demand tomorrow morning as Texans return to work and schools reopen.

This morning, ERCOT avoided emergency operations due to the conservation efforts by Texas residents and businesses, combined with additional grid reliability tools.

ERCOT is expecting similar conditions on Wednesday, January 17, and will continue to closely monitor conditions and keep the public informed through our communication channels. 

Tomorrow’s conservation appeal does not indicate ERCOT is experiencing emergency conditions at this time. ERCOT will remain vigilant and communicate further if conditions change because of continued freezing temperatures and very high demand in the morning hours. At this time, if you are experiencing an outage, it is local in nature and not related to overall grid reliability. Please check with your local electric provider for more information.  

Conservation is a widely used industry tool that can help lower demand for a specific period of peak demand time, which is typically during the morning hours in winter. 

ERCOT is requesting all government agencies (including city and county offices) to implement all programs to reduce energy use at their facilities until at least 9 a.m., tomorrow.  

ERCOT continues to use additional tools to manage the grid reliably, including using reserve power, calling upon reductions by large electric customers that have volunteered to lower their energy use, and bringing more generation online sooner. ERCOT is also working with out-of-state Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Market Participants to obtain additional power generation capacity, if available. ERCOT has obtained Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) enforcement discretion, which allows a generator to extend its service/run-time/operations to help meet demand, if needed, and maintain grid reliability. 

Energy-saving tips can be found on the TXANS webpage at ercot.com/txans

Why the Request to Reduce Usage?  

  • Weather. Most of Texas is seeing extremely cold temperatures for an extended period of time. 
  • Demand. Texas is experiencing record-breaking demand due to the cold weather. 
  • Solar. Solar generation isn’t available in the early morning hours, which is a peak demand time during winter, and slowly ramps up as the sun rises. 
  • Wind. Wind generation is forecasted to be lower than seasonally expected in the early morning hours.  

Peak Demand 

  • Last night, ERCOT set a new January peak demand of 70,982 MW in the 8-9 p.m. hour, passing the previous January peak demand record of 65,915 MW set January 17, 2018, in the 7-8 a.m. hour.
  • Today, ERCOT has already broken that January peak and set a new all-time winter peak demand record with 75,559 MW in the 9-10 a.m. hour.
  • The previous winter peak demand record of 74,525 MW was set December 23, 2022, in the 7-8 a.m. hour during Winter Storm Elliott.
  • In 2023, January peak demand was 65,632 MW in the 6-7 p.m. hour January 31.
  • The all-time peak demand record of 85,508 MW occurred August 10, 2023.
  • View ERCOT’s all-time peak demand records.

Consumer Assistance  

  • Public Utility Commission of Texas Hotline: 1-888-782-8477 

Stay Updated 

  • Sign up for TXANS notifications on the TXANS webpage. 
  • Download the ERCOT Mobile App for additional notifications: iOS | Android.
  • Monitor real-time and extended conditions at ercot.com
  • Subscribe to ERCOT Emergency Alerts, which are not sent through TXANS notifications.
  • Follow ERCOT on Twitter (@ERCOT_ISO), Facebook (Electric Reliability Council of Texas), and LinkedIn (ERCOT). 

This news release is also available in Spanish. Both the English and Spanish versions are accessible on the News Releases page on ercot.com.

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