February 3, 2011 - ERCOT rolling blackouts over?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Following on yesterday's report of rolling blackouts in Texas: grid operator ERCOT has reported that the need for intermittent power cuts may have passed, although ERCOT noted that scarcity of available generation might again lead to the need for blackouts.  As the storm moves away and life gets back to normal, we're seeing some of the impacts of the blackouts.  For example, the Houston Chronicle reports that the Houston fire department responded to 30 elevator rescues yesterday - 10 to 15 times as many as on an average day.  Rolling blackouts are unpredictable; even if you know the grid operator is imposing them, you might not know exactly when they'll strike.  ERCOT and utilities tried to avoid cutting power to key elements of social infrastructure like hospitals, but anyone who got stuck in an elevator when their building lost power probably didn't enjoy the experience.

ERCOT continues to ask consumers to reduce their consumption of electricity, particularly during times of peak demand.

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