Texans Fear Massive Power Outages

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As Texans were exhorted to save electricity on Monday in the midst of triple-digit temperatures, worries of a significant power outage were fueled.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) issued a conservation appeal late on Sunday, encouraging Texans and Texas companies to voluntarily save electricity on Monday, July 11, between 2 and 8 p.m., as Texas saw record-high power consumption due to the excessive heat.

While stating that it was issued the advisory because power reserves may fall below 2300 megawatts for 30 minutes or longer, ERCOT stated that system-wide disruptions are not anticipated.

Unfortunately, following a near-collapse of the grid that resulted in a nationwide outage in February 2021, concerns have been raised about ERCOT’s competence.

Due to their mistrust in ERCOT, several Texans posted on social media that they would not be practicing energy conservation.

In order to prevent rolling blackouts in 2021 when a huge winter storm snowed over the state, ERCOT asked Texans to use less electricity. After a few hours, almost the whole state lost power for many days, with the exception of El Paso, which receives its energy from a separate power grid. The state health agency said that at least 246 people perished, largely from hypothermia, although some estimates put the death toll closer to 7,000.

With more than 26 million Texans being serviced by the electric grid, Texas has broken and established power demand records 26 times since May. Throughout this time, there have been no systemic problems or outages. According to Gov. Greg Abbott, who has largely claimed responsibility for fixing the grid, the ERCOT power grid has been able to meet these challenges and respond in record ways, supplying more power than ever before and doing so more effectively. This is thanks in large part to the reforms passed during the previous session and the increase in power generation of more than 15% over the previous year.

The electricity grid will be fixed if El Paso Democrat Beto O’Rourke is elected governor in November, according to the governor’s political rival.