Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday afternoon that Texas’ main power grid “is better today than it’s ever been” — even as residents were on their third consecutive day of being asked to reduce electricity use.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the main power grid, is urging conservation through Friday, as a number of power plants were inexplicably offline at the same time as the state was experiencing record June demand for electricity.
As of Wednesday, when Abbott made his first public comments about this week’s grid conditions, ERCOT officials have still not said why so many power plants were unexpectedly offline. Approximately 12,000 megawatts of power generation were offline Monday afternoon — enough to power 2.4 million homes on a hot summer day. That’s several times more than what ERCOT would typically expect to go down during June.
Approximately 9,000 megawatts of electricity were still offline as of Wednesday afternoon, an ERCOT spokesperson said.
ERCOT officials are working to determine why so many units were down this week. Some experts theorized that the deadly winter storm in February may have caused damage to plants that is causing new complications, but ERCOT officials did not offer any details.