Texas Electric Grid Forces Rolling Blackouts During Deep Freeze

Well, now it’s cold inside as well as outside.

Rotating blackouts were enforced in the U.S. state of Texas early on Monday to reduce demand on the electric system amid icy storms, state’s grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said in a tweet https://bit.ly/2Owf3V2.

The agency said:

“Traffic lights and other infrastructure may be temporarily without power.  We urge Texans to put safety first at this time.”

The operator issued a level three energy emergency alert on Monday, urging consumers to reduce electricity use, which might be difficult given that places as far south as Houston had temperatures in the single digits with 20 mph sustained north winds.

Ice storms knocked out nearly half the wind power-generating capacity of Texas on Sunday as a rare deep freeze across the state locked up turbine towers while driving electricity demand to record levels, ERCOT reported on Sunday.

According to a spokeswoman from ERCORT, of the 25,000-plus megawatts of wind-power capacity normally available in Texas, some 12,000 megawatts was out of service as of Sunday morning due to the storm.

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