Rolling Power Outages Ordered Statewide


The state's power suppliers are urging Texans to cut down on their electricity usage. Monday, power companies throughout the state imposed rolling blackouts because of unseasonably hot weather and a shortage of electricity. Some of the state's power supply is already off line for seasonal maintenance to brace for the summer's energy usage peaks.

"Temperatures got up and then apparently two of the larger utility companies in the state of Texas lost power plants Monday," Patrick Kasper with Bryan Texas Utilities said.

During the month of April some generating facilities go down for maintenance. Since there was not enough generation on line Monday, ERCOT, The Energy Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state's electric grid, ordered utilities to impose rolling blackouts to meet demand.

"If everybody pitches in together it will reduce the overall pool throughout the state's electric grid, and then you won't need as much generation on line," David Massey with College Station Utilities said.

Rolling power outages usually last 15 to 30 minutes, bypassing hospitals and emergency facilities and targeting residential and rural areas. The outages usually happen between 3 and 7 in the evening.
The day or time of year to expect them is hard to determine.

"It is very difficult to say but typically you would think of it more in the peak seasons which would be summer or January or February when it could be colder in the state," Kasper said.

As record temperatures continue, electric companies are urging residents to be prepared for more potential blackouts.


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