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Texas was 4 minutes and 37 seconds away from a statewide blackout during winter storm

Four minutes and 37 seconds is how close ERCOT officials say we came to a statewide blackout last week- a blackout that could have left us in the dark for several weeks.
Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 9:34 PM CST
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Four minutes and 37 seconds is how close ERCOT officials say we came to a statewide blackout last week- a blackout that could have left us in the dark for several weeks.

Texans were left without power and a lot of unanswered questions after last week’s cold snap.

ERCOT CEO Bill Magness provided a clearer picture of the events that led to power outages across the state in yesterday’s meeting.

On Sunday, February 14th, ERCOT officials say more electricity was used on the ERCOT grid than ever before in the system’s history.

Thermostats across the state were being turned up to battle cold temperatures - causing the demand for electricity to surpass the supply available.

It was then that ERCOT decided to implement controlled outages to prevent a statewide blackout.

“It’s hard to estimate how long black start recovery would take because it requires these incremental steps in different parts of the system - then linking together those places in the system to kind of restitch the grid into a place where you could operate it as a whole. Avoiding that situation is why we take the outages,” said Magness.

Magness also took the meeting as an opportunity to apologize for not warning people that the winter storm could bring a power crisis.

“I certainly could have done a better job of emphasizing what was coming and had that communication with the board in more depth as well. I understand your frustration,” said Magness.

ERCOT spent the day answering questions about the emergency from Texas lawmakers in the state house and senate.

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