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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: ‘Texas electric grid is more reliant and more resilient than it’s ever been'

The governor said the Lone Star State now has about 15% more power generation capacity than last year.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says the power grid is doing its job and holding up to the challenge of the winter storm that put the entire state in a deep freeze.

In a news conference, the governor said the grid performed well during the peak demand on Friday morning.

"Peak power demand was about 69,000 megawatts early this morning. We do not expect the demand to exceed that amount for the rest of the storm,” Abbott said. 

RELATED: Arctic blast updates: 20,000 homes without power across Texas, Gov. Abbott says

That's far below the amount of power that was available, according to Abbott.

“At the height of the power generation supply, more than 86,000 megawatts of power was available to serve demand on the grid," Abbott said Friday. "That’s important because that far exceeds the estimated peak demand during last year’s winter storm. ERCOT forecasted that peak demand during Winter Storm Uri was about 77,000 megawatts.”

Abbott said Texas has about 15% more power generation capacity than last year thanks to action by the legislature, the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and ERCOT after the power crisis was blamed for more than 200 deaths last February.

RELATED: More than 70,000 Texas customers lose power due to ice on power lines, fallen tree limbs

The governor credited winterization that protected power generation facilities across the state.

“Our weatherization requirements mean that our generators meet and exceed federal winterization standards and we’re seeing the benefits of that during this winter storm,” PUC Chairman Peter Lake said.

RELATED: Arctic blast latest: Winter weather warnings expire

Abbott also cited:

  • The increase of power generators online because of improved maintenance schedules
  • The availability of alternative fuels for generators to use to generate power
  • And all participants in the power generation chain working together collaboratively

Abbott said the entire state is forecast to be in freezing or sub-freezing temperatures again tonight, but the grid will have more than enough power.

"At the expected peak demand over the next two days, there should be about 17,000 megawatts of extra power capacity. That’s enough extra power to supply over three million homes across the state.”

On Thursday, more than 70,000 customers statewide lost power but Abbott said those issues were on the local level and not related to the grid. 

The biggest problems were ice weighing down lines or breaking tree limbs that downed lines. Wind also knocked down power lines in some areas. 

By Friday, the number of customers without power statewide was about 20,000.

Abbott credited local utility companies and heroic lineman who are working around the clock in the sub-freezing weather to restore power. 

If your power is out, you should contact your local provider. You can identify your provider and get their contact information at puc.texas.gov/storm.

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