As temperatures across Texas remain in triple digits, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Tuesday afternoon issued its first Emergency Alert since 2014, warning that energy operating reserved had fallen beneath the minimum threshold of 2300 megawatts..
ERCOT, which manages the state's power grid for the various energy companies, like CPS Energy, had warned that the summer of 2019 was likely to involve emergency alerts. It blamed a combination of the predicted hot summer weather, plus the state's growing population, the new 24/7 workplace, which requres energy at what used to be 'off hours,' and the fact that many older, coal fired power plants around the state are being taken off line due to clear air considerations.
ERCOT later lifted the Emergency Alert, but says Texans should continue to hold off on the use of heavy load appliances, like clothes dryers and dishwashers, during the peak usage hours of 4PM to 7PM. Not only is that usually the hottest period of the afternoon, but the demand is the greatest because people are returning home from school and work and firing up electronic devices, while the workplace, with hours expanded due to today's 24/7 demands, are still also generating electricity.
Tuesday's alert was a 'Level One' which is the lowest level of alert. A 'Level Three' would be accompanied by rolling blackouts.
ERCOT says utilities are working to add power capacity through the increased use of renewables, like wind and solar.