Power plant outages, low wind puts Texans on high alert to conserve power
By L.M. Sixel August 15, 2019
Unexpected power outages and reduced wind levels sent wholesale electricity prices in Houston soaring for the second day this week to $9,000 per megawatt hour Thursday afternoon — the highest price allowed in Texas — as the state’s grid manager called for conservation as the state moves dangerously close to rolling blackouts.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued an appeal to the public to reduce consumption for the second day this week as electricity reserves fell Thursday afternoon below 2,300 megawatts. The problem is more dire than it was earlier in the week when prices also reached $9,000 a megawatt hour and stayed there for more than an hour.
Texas is also grappling with about 5,200 megawatts of unexpected outages, said Dan Woodfin, senior director of system operations for ERCOT. ERCOT would not say which generators were off-line but said it reflects generation units that have running at capacity all week to keep up with the heavy demand for power as temperatures hit triple-digits.