Rolling outages throughout Texas, thousands out of power in Texoma

Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 6:58 PM CST
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DENISON, Texas (KXII) - Thousands of people are without power this evening across Texoma. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is calling it an energy emergency, saying these rolling blackouts are happening all across Texas. But some people say their power rolled off hours ago and still hasn’t rolled back on.

An EEA or energy emergency alert is when the demand for electricity is very high but the supply can’t keep up. ERCOT says this EEA is unprecedented. Between a high demand for electricity and the severe winter weather, they say controlled outages are a last resort to preserve the grid as a whole.

Walmart in Denison lost power Monday and had to close their doors.

“There’s just insufficient supply of generation on the grid to meet the very high demand on the grid,” said Dan Woodfin, System Operations Senior Director for ERCOT.

Utilities across Texas have been required by ERCOT to do controlled or rolling outages across service areas because of a lack of supply on top of the increased electricity these winter storms are requiring to heat homes.

“This is not a preferable situation and we all recognize that. We’re trying to reduce the length of outages as much as we can, but we also want to make sure that we preserve the reliability of the system as a whole,” said Woodfin.

Oncor expected outages to last 15 to 45 minutes at a time. While thousands have lost power on-and-off in Texoma some have been without power since late last night.

“The power flickered back on for 5 minutes, 10 minutes at a time and then light back out for almost 12 hours now,” said Brad, a Pottsboro resident.

“Temperature has dropped to about 58 degrees in the house here since they didn’t keep the power on long enough for it to recoup the loss of heat. I’m not equipped for three, four hours at a time or more,” said Harold, a Denison resident.

ERCOT says rolling outages can only be used in certain areas.

“They don’t use areas where there are hospitals or emergency responders or those kind of things. They really don’t have enough options to be able to rotate between different areas. They can’t rotate through them and still reduce the demand by the amount that we need to maintain reliability,” said Woodfin.

But residents are also concerned about the toll this will take on their homes.

“You know when it’s 3 degrees outside and no one has heat, pipes are gonna freeze and break and it’s gonna take months and months to fix. Eight days of water dripping out of three faucets is probably a thousand dollar water bill, all because you can’t heat your home,” said Brad.

In a press release, Oncor says these rolling blackouts could be required by ERCOT through Tuesday and to be prepared to be without power for an extended period of time.

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