Rotating power outages

Due to unprecedented energy demand across the state, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas has declared an Energy Emergency Level 3.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, is the Texas energy grid operator and is responsible for managing the flow of electric power for over 90 percent of the state's electric load.

ERCOT's Energy Emergency Level 3 declaration means that utilities across the state will begin rotating outages in order to lessen the historic consumer demand.

According to ERCOT, rotating outages are temporary interruptions of electrical service that are implemented by utilities when it is necessary to reduce demand on the power system. This type of demand reduction is controlled and is used as a last resort to preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole.

"It is very important that all utilities participate in helping to reduce strain on the electric grid, and at this time ERCOT has determined that this can only be accomplished by shedding load from the system," Bryan Texas Utilities general manager Gary Miller told KBTX.

A rotating outage typically lasts between 10 and 40 minutes before moving to another circuit but can last longer depending on the event. ERCOT anticipates the need for rotating outages may last for several hours.

Although travel should be avoided at this time if possible, Bryan Texas Utilities reminds customers that traffic signals that are not in operation should be treated as stop signs.

"BTU's primary concern is the safety and well-being of our customers, and while these outages are certainly not ideal, they are in the best interest of our service territory and the integrity of the Texas electric system as a whole," Miller said.

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