News Release

February 17, 2021

Grid operator restores more power overnight

Ability to restore more depends on generator availability

AUSTIN, TX, Feb. 17, 2021 – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) continues to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. During the overnight hours, ERCOT was able to restore approximately 3,500 MW of load, which is roughly 700,000 households.

"We know millions of people are suffering," said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. "We have no other priority than getting them electricity. No other priority."

However, some of that was lost when the Midwest went into a power emergency of their own, and ERCOT was no longer able to import approximately 600 MW.

As of 9 a.m., ERCOT is instructing local utilities to shed 14,000 MW of load representing around 2.8 million households.

"Although we’ve reconnected more consumers back to the grid, the aggregate energy consumption of customers (those recently turned back on and those already on) is actually lower this morning compared to yesterday because it’s less cold," said ERCOT Senior Director of System Operations Dan Woodfin. "However, we are anticipating another cold front this evening which could increase the demand."

"The ability to restore more power is contingent on more generation coming back online," said Woodfin. Since the winter storm began on Monday, approximately 185 generating units have tripped offline for one reason or another. Some factors include frozen wind turbines, limited gas supplies, low gas pressure and frozen instrumentation.

As of 9 a.m., approximately 46,000 MW of generation has been forced off the system during this extreme winter weather event. Of that, 28,000 MW is thermal and 18,000 MW is wind and solar.

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The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers -- representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 680+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for nearly 8 million premises in competitive choice areas.

ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.

Contact

media@ercot.com

512-275-7432