Dottie Roark with the electric reliability council of Texas says the prolonged hot weather is causing high electricity usage, but there are other problems.
"We lost a large unit this morning — a large generation unit — so we're a little bit short of our operating reserves for today. But we will probably continue this appeal for conservation the rest of the week, at least through Thursday, because we are expecting to have continued high temperatures throughout the state, and that is causing high electricity usage this week."
Roark says it's especially critical between four and five p.m.
If daily operating reserves drop below target thresholds, ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc.) will initiate a series of steps such as interrupting large industrial customers who are under contract to be dropped in emergency situations.