The Electric Reliability Council of Texas says conservation is critical between now and 7 p.m. The strain on the system has been the worst between 4 and 5 p.m. this week.
ERCOT initiated another Energy Emergency Alert Level Two this afternoon, as reserves dropped below the trigger level of 1,750 megawatts. ERCOT's Dottie Roark.
"So we're at the second part of Level Two of our emergency procedures now, and what that means is we've deployed our interruptible loads. Those are the large industrial customers that are under contract — they're paid to be interrupted in an emergency situation."
Rotating outages are the next step — controlled, temporary interruptions of electrical service when supplies of reserve power are exhausted. Without the "rolling blackout" safety valve, generators would overload and begin shutting down to avoid damage, which could trigger a region-wide domino effect.