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Texas ERCOT asks citizens to conserve energy due to freezing conditions

Freezing conditions within Texas have seemingly yet again put a strain on the state’s electrical grid. The state’s Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) told its citizens on Sunday to start energy conservation this Monday morning.

“Due to continued freezing temperatures, very high demand, and unseasonably low wind, operating reserves are expected to be low during the morning hours of Monday, January 15, prior to the solar ramp-up,” said ERCOT.

“As a result, ERCOT is asking Texans to conserve electricity use, if safe to do so, Monday, January 15, from 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. CT. ERCOT is expecting similar conditions on Tuesday, January 16, and will continue to closely monitor conditions and keep the public informed through our communication channels,” they continued.

This contradicted a previous notice on Friday claiming that the grid had an “ample amount of energy” to provide electricity to its citizens despite the freezing temperatures.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott echoed ERCOT’s claim at a news conference in Austin, according to Fort-Worth Star-Telegram.

“We believe that the power grid, ERCOT, is going to be able to ensure that power is available through the entirety of this winter storm,” Abbott said.

A similar warning was issued for Tuesday morning, January 16, and expects similar conditions for Wednesday. Regardless, energy levels for ERCOT returned to normal after 10 AM, ending the need for Texans to conserve energy.

That said, due to ERCOT’s poor reputation among its citizens, people remain vigilant. The Texas deep freeze in 2021, knocked down ERCOT and left millions of people in the cold amidst rolling blackouts due to frozen equipment and other severe weather issues.

While it’s unlikely that this winter storm will grow to rival the 2021 disaster, with how unpredictable ERCOT is known to be, for some Texans it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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