2 Million Texas Households Without Power As Massive Winter Storm Drives Demand For Electricity – Houston Public Media
Some utility companies that deliver electricity to Texans are telling customers to expect power outages through Monday night and potentially into Tuesday.
Updated Feb. 16, 2021 at 9:06 a.m.
Here’s what you need to know:
- 2 million Texas households are without power
- Houston mayor seeks answers on how outages were handled
- Dallas urges residents to reduce their electricity usage
- Texas cities open emergency shelters
- 100,000 Fort Worth residents receive boil water notice
- State sending extra resources to help across Texas
The state’s electric grid operator lost control of the power supply Monday morning as 2 million Texas households didn’t have heat or other electric appliances working at home as a massive winter storm delivered freezing temperatures across the state.
When the state’s grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, began implementing rolling blackouts at 1:25 a.m. Monday, the outages were intended to be implemented on a rolling basis — up to 45 minutes per affected area, according to the ERCOT.
Instead, some Texans in Austin, Houston and other cities were without power into Monday afternoon and all morning since even before ERCOT called for the rolling blackouts. And some companies that deliver electricity to households and businesses have told customers to expect to be without power through at least the end of the day as they work to restore power generating units that went offline during the storm.
“Unfortunately, if you are a customer who is currently experiencing an outage, you should be prepared to be without power for at least the rest of the day,” tweeted CenterPoint Energy. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said midday Monday that more than 1.1 million CenterPoint customers were without power.
Jackie Sargent, the general manager for Austin Energy, said Monday afternoon that based on information from ERCOT, the local power outages could extend into Tuesday afternoon.
“We are aware of where our system is at and we are operating with the constraints and the direction of ERCOT,” she said. “ERCOT has said that based on what they are looking at that, this situation is likely to continue through the night and possibly into the afternoon tomorrow. So it depends on what we do as consumers in managing our load, our consumption of electricity.”
The electricity grid was designed to be in high demand during the summer, when Texans crank their air conditioning at home. But some of the energy sources that power the grid during the summer are offline during the winter. So when Texans stayed home during the storm on Sunday and demanded record amounts of electricity, the state’s energy system could not keep up.
— Read on https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/energy-environment/2021/02/15/391479/rolling-power-blackouts-in-effect-across-texas-as-massive-winter-storm-drives-demand-for-electricity/