Market Information System Grid and Market Conditions

News Release

September 14, 2008

Hurricane Ike: ERCOT Grid Condition, Update 1

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of the state, reported more than 2.1 million customers remain out of service in the ERCOT region this morning, due to the impact of Hurricane Ike, according to estimates from transmission/distribution providers.  Most of the outages are in the Houston-Galveston area.

 Preliminary estimates from transmission/distribution providers indicate it could take three-four weeks to get all load restored.  

Also, 114 high-voltage transmission lines remain out of service.  These include six 345-kilovolt (kV) lines, most in the Houston-Galveston area.  Eighty-nine 138-kV and 21 69-kV lines are also disabled.  Preliminary reports from transmission/distribution providers indicate most of the transmission outages are due to debris on the lines rather than significant structural damage.  

About 3000 megawatts (MW) of generation is not available, primarily due to absence of transmission, representing 13 generating plants (35 units total).  Generation capacity is not an issue at this time because of the significant load loss.

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 710+ 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.