Generator failure triggers power alert in Texas

Power line

Credit: WFAA

Generator failure triggers power alert in Texas

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WFAA

Posted on January 18, 2014 at 2:39 PM

The agency that manages most of the Texas electric power grid briefly declared a Level 1 Energy Emergency Alert shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday.

"We had a sudden outage of about 1,200 megawatts of generation, and the system is recovering," said Electric Reliability Council of Texas spokesperson Robbie Searcy. "We do not expect to ask for additional action from consumers at this time."

The emergency was declared after power reserves fell below 2,300 megawatts. Operations returned to normal about 45 minutes later.

"We always keep reserve power available when possible for situations like this," said ERCOT director of system operations Dan Woodfin in a written statement. "While additional units were coming on-line, system operating reserves briefly dropped below the level that results in an alert."

Earlier this month, ERCOT asked customers to reduce power usage when a Level 2 alert was issued after a generating plant malfunctioned during a cold snap.

ERCOT has a three-level emergency alert system. When electric reserves are dangerously low, the third-level alert triggers rolling blackouts to consumers to reduce the possibility of a statewide blackout.

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