ERCOT Issues Level 2 Power Emergency
Rolling blackouts at industrial facilities may happen
By Lee Nichols, 3:01PM, Thu. Aug. 4, 2011
Out of the frying pan, into the fire: The Electric Reliability Council of Texas just Tweeted that it is issuing a Level 2 energy emergency. This means that, among large industrial users, rolling blackouts may be necessary.
"If the capacity shortage is not relieved by the contract demand response, ERCOT escalates to a Power Emergency (Energy Emergency Alert Level 3) and will instruct utilities to reduce demand on the grid by conducting temporary outages at the local distribution level," reads a press release from ERCOT. "These controlled temporary interruptions of electrical service – or rotating outages – typically last 15-45 minutes before being rotated to a different neighborhood."
ERCOT asks that all Texans reduce their energy usage 3-7pm today to help with the capacity problems, including the following steps:
Consumers can help by shutting off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances between 3 and 7 p.m., and delaying laundry and other activities requiring electricity-consuming appliances until later in the evening. Other conservation tips from the Public Utility Commission’s “Powerful Advice” include:
• Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.
• When at home, close blinds and drapes that get direct sun, set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, and use fans in occupied rooms to feel cooler.
• When away from home, set air conditioning thermostats to 85 degrees and turn all fans off before you leave. Block the sun by closing blinds or drapes on windows that will get direct sun.
• Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee makers, or other home appliances during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m.
• Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary.
• Use microwaves for cooking instead of an electric range or oven.
• Set your pool pump to run in the early morning or evening instead of the afternoon.
Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible. Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.
Full ERCOT press release here.