Texas power grid to resume normal operations, cancels emergency alerts

(Reuters) – The Texas power grid operator said late on Wednesday it was resuming normal operations after lifting emergency measures, but still encouraged users to reduce power electric use.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which serves more than 26 million customers, had earlier declared an Energy Emergency Alert Level 2 (EEA 2), as operating reserves continued to drop.

An EEA 2 is issued when the grid’s operating reserves have dropped below 1,750 megawatts (MW) and are not expected to recover within 30 minutes. ERCOT could call for controlled outages if demand is not reduced or additional supply cannot be added from generators.

The grid operator had earlier warned of potential power shortages and appealed for energy conservation due to continued high temperatures, increased demand, low wind, and declining solar power generation.

To maintain stability of the grid, ERCOT brought all available generation online, released remaining reserves, and used demand response to lower electric demand, it said in its latest release to customers.

“No power outages associated with the ERCOT power grid were necessary,” ERCOT said, adding that Texas had set a new September peak demand record of 82,705 Megawatts (MW).

That was still below its all-time peak demand record of 85,435 MW hit on Aug. 10.

Extreme weather in Texas has been in focus since a deadly storm in February 2021 left millions without power, water and heat for days as ERCOT struggled to avoid a grid collapse.

Real-time power prices briefly hovered around $5,000 in most of ERCOT’s Texas hubs, according to the ERCOT website.

(Reporting by Swati Verma, Rahul Paswan, Sherin Elizabeth Varghese, Ashitha Shivaprasad and Deep Vakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang, Jamie Freed and Kim Coghill)

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