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ERCOT asks Texans to conserve power, but says outages not expected as it nears emergency conditions

A higher than expected amount of plant outages for maintenance — and a stalled cold front — created tight conditions for the grid Tuesday.
A map of the electrical grids in Texas.
A map of the electrical grids in Texas.(Graphic by ERCOT)
Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 5:23 PM CDT
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TEXAS TRIBUNE - The state’s main power grid operator asked Texans to conserve power Tuesday afternoon and into the evening as the electricity grid is barely keeping up with the demand for electricity.

But the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said it does not expect customer outages, like those caused in February.

The tight conditions for the grid are being caused by a stalled cold front over Texas, combined with a high number of energy-producing plants being offline for maintenance.

“This emergency declaration allows us to access tools that will bring supply and demand back into line,” Woody Rickerson, an ERCOT vice president, said in a statement.

Maintenance outages are very common during the spring and fall. Those outages are higher than usual right now, a spokesperson told the Tribune early Tuesday, due to additional repairs necessary from the February winter storm.

A spokesperson for ERCOT was not immediately available to comment Tuesday afternoon.