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ERCOT gearing up for next wave of winter weather

Texas is expected to experience a wave of cold fronts in the coming days.

AUSTIN, Texas — Just days away from the first day of winter, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is gearing up for this season's coming wave of winter-like weather.

As a series of cold fronts approach the state, ERCOT released a notice Friday stating that it is closely monitoring forecasts and models. The council said it also currently expects sufficient generation to meet the forecasted demand.

Also on Friday, ERCOT issued an operating condition notice (OCN) stating that temperatures will meet its criteria of 25 degrees or lower in the Austin/San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth areas between Thursday, Dec. 22, and Monday, Dec. 26.

Over the past 1.5 years, ERCOT says it has worked closely with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) and other elected officials to implement reforms and increase grid reliability. As a result, the groups say the state's grid reliability has been "strengthened significantly."

Some of those improvements include:

  • Weatherization and Inspections. Electric generation units and transmission facilities weatherize and are inspected by ERCOT.
  • Firm Fuel Supply Service. An additional source of fuel onsite for generators benefits the grid by providing a redundant, or additional, fuel source should there be a natural gas scarcity.
  • Scheduled Maintenance Period. ERCOT has worked with generators and transmission operators to schedule their maintenance so they could prepare their equipment for winter.
  • Fast Frequency Response Service. This is a new addition to our ancillary services that provides a group of generators that can power up quickly during operating conditions that change rapidly.
  • Reliability Unit Commitments. ERCOT can bring more generation online sooner when needed.
  • Critical Supply Chain and Critical Infrastructure Map. This map was created to share the locations and connectivity of all the critical parts of the Texas power infrastructure.
  • Improved Communications. Agencies are seeing improved communications through both the Texas Department of Emergency Management and Texas Energy Reliability Council.

“Providing Texans with a reliable electric grid is our highest priority. As we monitor weather conditions, we want to assure Texans that the grid is resilient and reliable,” said ERCOT President and CEO Pablo Vegas. “We will keep the public informed as weather conditions change throughout the coming week.”

To monitor current conditions, visit ERCOT's website.

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