94.4 F
Friday, July, 12

Winter storm warning with possible rolling blackouts

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At the news conference, Abbott said he would seek a federal emergency declaration for the storm and planned to deploy National Guard troops to help find stranded travelers.

“Travel will be dangerous,” the National Weather Service alert said. “Hazardous conditions will persist for several days given the expected prolonged duration of extremely cold temperatures. The cold wind chills as low as 15 below zero could result in hypothermia if precautions are not taken.”

The state’s power grid could see record-setting winter electricity demand from Texans trying to keep warm this weekend. That means the capacity of Texas’ power grid, most of which is run by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, will be put to the test. It is unclear whether this will result in rolling blackouts in Texas, or “rotating outages” as ERCOT calls system power outages.

What is a rotating outage?

Rotating outages are controlled, temporary interruptions of electrical service implemented by utilities to reduce demand and preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole. Utilities are required to shed load based on their percentage of historic peak demand. Rotating outages are only used as a last resort to bring operating reserves back up to a safe level and maintain system frequency.

Rotating outages primarily affect residential neighborhoods and small businesses and are typically limited to 10 to 45 minutes before being rotated to another location. Each transmission company is responsible for determining how they will shed their portion of the load on the system.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking consumers and businesses to reduce their electricity use as much as possible Sunday, Feb. 14 through Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Here are some tips to reduce electricity use:

  • Turn down thermostats to 68-degrees.
  • Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
  • Avoid using large appliances (i.e., ovens, washing machines, etc.).
  • Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
  • Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.

Click here for more information on ERCOT’s emergency procedures during tight grid conditions.

Beginning at noon Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, the Denton Civic Center will open as an emergency 24-hour a day warming station, supplementing other daytime warming stations and overnight shelters available within the City. Read more

According to DME to get notification of possible rolling blackouts follow City of Denton and DME social media accounts.

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