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ERCOT Issues Power Emergency Warning
Grid operator calls for conservation until 7pm
DAILY News  August 2, 2011, by Lee Nichols
"...The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (the agency that manages the state's electricity grid) has issued an emergency warning that Texas' power reserves are dipping perilously low as today's heat taxes air conditioning systems statewide. In the press release below, ERCOT asks Texans to back off on power usage until 7pm, and offers tips on how to do so:..."

ERCOT Issues Another Power Emergency
Agency asks Texans to conserve electricity 3-7pm today
DAILY News  August 3, 2011, by Lee Nichols
"...“There’s a possibility that we may have to go to a level 2 emergency today which authorizes operators to drop the interruptible loads – large customers paid to be dropped in a level 2 emergency," said Kent Saathoff, ERCOT's vice president of system planning and operations, in a press release. "Dropping the load resources provides extra capacity for the remaining customers...."

ERCOT Issues Level 2 Power Emergency
Rolling blackouts at industrial facilities may happen
DAILY News  August 4, 2011, by Lee Nichols
"..."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 Energy Emergency Again
State power grid asks people to use less electricity until 7pm
DAILY News  August 23, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...Staff for ERCOT just announced that peak demand is expected to break 67,700 MW today. When operating reserves reached below 2,300 MW, they initiated Energy Emergency Alert Level 1, meaning they can start bringing in power from other grids..."

Another Day, Another ERCOT Power Warning
Energy regulator still asking for conservation measures through 7pm
DAILY News  August 5, 2011, by Richard Whittaker

Texas Under Power Warning
UPDATE: ERCOT downgrades request for savings, but urges conservation
DAILY News  August 24, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...UPDATE at 6.10pm: It seems the request for reduced consumption worked, because ERCOT just ended the power warning. In a statement, Austin Energy communications director Ed Clark said, "ERCOT indicates conditions are normal, but encourages conservation."..."

Heat Wave Renews Call for Renewable Energy
Solar and wind could do the job more efficiently, advocates say
News Story  August 12, 2011, by Lee Nichols
"...3 saw an all-time peak demand record of 68,294 megawatts. (One megawatt is enough to power about 200 air-conditioned homes during hot weather.) ERCOT did say some plants were offline – accounting for as much as 5,000 megawatts on Aug..."

Twisting in the Wind
Austin Energy is trying to find the right price for renewable energy – but that's much easier said than done
News Story  August 21, 2009, by Nora Ankrum
"...However, this year West Texas congestion costs have lessened, and more importantly, it turned out Batch 6 pricing needn't ever have covered the costs of West Texas congestion at all. As Dun­can explained in his July 24 memo to council announcing the proposed rate change: "The estimated congestion costs in the original pricing assumed that the Hackberry wind plant [near Abilene], which supplies Batch 6, would be assigned to ERCOT's 'West Zone' for congestion purposes and would therefore have higher congestion costs..."

It's the Carbon, Stupid!
Texas leaders continue to drag their boot heels on global warming
News Story  December 1, 2006, by Daniel Mottola
"...The justification for the Texas "coal rush" is an estimate by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (which oversees 85% of Texas' deregulated energy markets) that electricity supplies will dip below the 12.5% mandated reserve margin by 2008 due to growing populations. The ERCOT estimate was cited both by Perry in a September Dallas Morning News op-ed, and repeatedly by the massive PR blitz of Dallas utility giant TXU, which is proposing 11 of the 19 plants..."

Blackouts Could Last Up to 45 Minutes
Updated information on rolling blackouts expected today
DAILY News  February 2, 2011, by Jordan Smith
"...AE is implementing rotating blackouts per ERCOT protocols to meet our load shedding requirement. AE is turning off about 40 circuits at a time (we have about 350 circuits)..."

State Short on Power
Rolling blackouts to help correct statewide problem
DAILY News  February 2, 2011, by Jordan Smith
"...At about 5:40 am ERCOT enacted a system-wide emergency curtailment (EEA-Level 3) due to insufficient on-line generation to meet ERCOT statewide demand. The ERCOT system must shed 1,100 MW..."

GreenChoice Affordable After All?
GreenChoice Batch 6 customers may soon get a break on their utility bills
News Story  July 31, 2009, by Nora Ankrum
"...In a July 24 memo to City Council, AE General Manager Roger Duncan explained that when setting the latest pricing, AE had overestimated the potential transmission congestion costs of bringing electricity to town. AE "assumed that the Hackberry wind plant, which supplies Batch 6, would be assigned to ERCOT's 'West Zone' ....."

A Blow to Nonrenewable Energy
Wind power is adding more power to Texas than was thought.
DAILY News  June 22, 2007, by Richard Whittaker
"...Will Texas face rolling brownouts this year like last? The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is reckoning not – and the thanks may go to wind power. ERCOT manages the grid for most of the state and has to make big, elaborate calculations for how much power people will need and when. Under their newest sums, they reckon this summer that will top out at 63,794 megawatts, up 2.3% from last year's peak of 62,339 MW..."

Death Star and Fat Boy
The "invisible hand" of utility deregulation looks an awful lot like Ken Lay's.
News Column  May 17, 2002, by Michael King
"...At least that's what we were told last week by our own lovingly named Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc., the state's electric grid operator and the equivalent of the California agency that was so thoroughly swindled by the major power companies. Testifying before a Lege oversight committee, ERCOT's executives insisted that they have everything under control, and we needn't worry one little bit..."

Naked City
News Story  January 4, 2008
"...• The state's electricity grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, reported recently that supplies of reserve power, which ward off blackouts during extreme weather or major outages, will be sufficient until 2011 – adding two years to a May 2007 estimate. ERCOT credits a 255-megawatt natural-gas power plant and two large coal plants being built by Energy Future Holdings (formerly TXU), set to come online in 2009 and 2010, adding 2,291 megawatts of power..."

Naked City
Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
News Story  August 18, 2006
"...James Christopher Uranga was sentenced to seven years in prison for engaging in organized crime and for misapplication of fiduciary property and ordered to pay $505,000 in restitution; Kenneth Shoquist was sentenced to eight years in prison for engaging in organized crime and for bribery, and was ordered to pay $120,000 in restitution. Two other ERCOT defendants have yet to be sentenced, while a fifth is still awaiting trial..."

We Have Power
No news from ERCOT is good news for Austin Energy
DAILY News  February 3, 2011, by Jordan Smith
"...According to city officials, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas hasn't passed any message forward to say that rolling blackouts are a possibility today. In an early morning press release, the city notes that, in fact, ERCOT has said that "we have more power plants online today with capacity to serve the energy needs that were not available yesterday," according to the release...."

Council Does the Money Mambo
The bones of the city -- roads, sewers, power lines -- took center stage for last Thursday's installment at City Council of "Budget: How Low Can We Go?" Not as low as we might like.
News Story  August 30, 2002, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...However, your bills still will rise by around 50 cents a month. Blame the Legislature; even though Austin could choose not to opt into retail electric competition (because we own the utility), Austin ratepayers still help fund the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) as it struggles to make competition work elsewhere..."

Climate Change: Still Not a Hoax
Reducing carbon emissions with Austin Energy, without the Fayette Power Project
News Story  April 27, 2017, by Joseph Caterine
"...The majority of the energy generated by it is consumed by Texas cities; only a quarter of it comes from coal plants. "Even if [Fayette] goes away," said city Climate Program Manager Zach Baumer, "we're still going to be buying power from the ERCOT grid..."

Point Austin: A Funny Thing Happened ...
Potential consultant firm violates city's anti-lobbying ordinance
News Column  December 10, 2015, by Michael King
"...However you stand on any of these issues, it seems not entirely a coincidence that both AE GM Larry Weis and COO Cheryl Mele have almost simultaneously decided to move on – Weis back home to Seattle City Light, and Mele to the state's ERCOT grid. I'm sure they have good personal reasons, but it can't have helped that the utility is persistently whipsawed between the city's affordability and renewable energy pressures (no longer quite as contradictory as they once were), all under the direct shadow of the PUC – which will again review next year's rate structure under the implicit standard: Why shouldn't we end Austin's public ownership and throw the city to the wolves of the private energy market?..."

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