During extreme circumstances, and at the direction of ERCOT, the Texas grid manager, CoServ may have to initiate controlled, temporary interruptions of electric service called controlled outages to reduce demand and ensure the state electric grid’s stability.
If CoServ is required to help lower the demand grid, we will initiate controlled outages. These controlled outages should only last 30 to 60 minutes per rotation.
Should you experience an extended outage of one hour or more, please utilize SmartHub or text OUT to 855-938-3496 to report a possible outage unrelated to this situation.
We want to do our part to keep the electric grid stable. To learn ways you can help check out our energy-saving tips.
Who orders load shed and why?
“When there is not enough generation available to serve consumers’ demand for electricity, and all other solutions available to ERCOT have been exhausted, ERCOT will instruct utilities to reduce power on the system to balance supply and demand. This is referred to as load shed.“ (Source: ERCOT)
How do we get to the point where Controlled Outages are necessary?
Physical Responsive Capacity (PRC) is a measurement of operating reserves to meet increased demand for energy. PRC is similar to bench depth on a sports team. These are resources that would be available and helpful in different ways to meet the needs of the team to accomplish their goal.
Energy Emergency Alert Level 3 is triggered when the PRC drops below 1,000 MW and is not expected to recover within 30 minutes. This condition indicates that demand exceeds supply. When this occurs, the system frequency will decrease. To prevent damage and the possible failure of generators as they try to keep up with the increased demand, demand is reduced through controlled outages.
Why does CoServ have to comply with these requests?
ERCOT instructs electric transmission and distribution utilities to reduce power on the system to balance supply and demand. CoServ is obligated to follow instructions from ERCOT under PUCT regulations.
These controlled outages help establish grid stability by keeping generators available. Controlled outages are stopped when demand is anticipated to not exceed supply any longer and restoration will not jeopardize grid stability. In a worst-case scenario, if the state’s electric grid become unstable and collapse, restoration could range from weeks to months depending upon the primary cause of failure.
How does CoServ conduct controlled outages and do some feeder lines or circuits receive priority over others?
Controlled outages are temporary, controlled interruptions of service. They typically last 30 to 60 minutes. During these outages, service is interrupted to several feeders at a time to meet load shed requirements before rotating on to another section.
CoServ’s Critical Load designation is a listing of nonresidential Members that can be classified as public safety, industrial, or natural gas infrastructure, and have an approved Critical Load application with CoServ. Critical load designations are determined based upon PUCT substantive rules. When controlled outages are mandated, CoServ rotates feeders in the time blocks described while prioritizing designated Critical Loads for restoration as much as practicable. Critical Load designation does not guarantee an uninterrupted, regular, or continuous power supply.