ERCOT issues announcement ahead of multiple Texas cold fronts

ERCOT issues announcement ahead of multiple Texas cold fronts

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued an announcement on Friday noting forthcoming cold weather expected to hit the state of Texas in the days leading up to Christmas, stating it expects the state power grid to hold up under any duress these changes may cause to energy suppliers.

“As a series of cold fronts approach Texas, ERCOT continues to closely monitor weather forecasts and models,” the statement read. “ERCOT expects sufficient generation to meet forecasted demand and will continue to provide updates.”

Temperatures in Houston dipped into the 40s on Friday morning following last week’s back-to-back instances of near-record heat recorded in the region. Earlier Friday ERCOT issued an Operating Condition Notice to energy creators and transmitters alerting them to the changing weather and asking providers to prepare for conditions meeting the body’s criteria for temperatures 25 degrees or lower, specifically targeting energy outfits in Austin, San Antonio and the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Space City Weather’s Eric Berger has projected a cold front to shift down from the north in the coming days and blanket the Lone Star State in temperatures bordering on freezing as early as Saturday morning. These low temperatures are expected to hold until mid-week and drop again in the days before Christmas when a “robust front” of Arctic air swings into Texas and drops temperatures as low as the “upper teens.”

“Providing Texans with a reliable electric grid is our highest priority. As we monitor weather conditions, we want to assure Texans that the grid is resilient and reliable,” said ERCOT President and CEO Pablo Vegas. “We will keep the public informed as weather conditions change throughout the coming week.”

A federal report published in October cast doubts on the readiness of the Texas power grid to endure another bout of sustained cold weather conditions such as the one that plunged the state into a deadly period of darkness in February 2021. Commissioned by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an analysis modeling how the grid would react to a similar freeze projected the state would still undergo rolling blackouts due to unmet demand loads. 

“Basically, what [FERC] is saying is if we get weather conditions like in February ’21, we would have close to a repeat of what happened,” Doug Lewin, president of Austin-based energy consulting company Stoic Energy, told the Austin American-Statesman in October. “The risk that existed [in February 2021], for all intents and purposes, is about the same heading into this winter.”

You can monitor the state’s power grid in real time with the ERCOT Grid and Market Conditions dashboard.



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