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Power Warning for Texas: RISK OF POWER OUTAGES

Power Warning for Texas: RISK OF POWER OUTAGES

Note: Any questions, please contact your local power company. (see website
link below for details)

Weather Forecast – Current, weekend and longterm

Power Warning – Conservation Critical

High risk of rotating outages; Consumers asked to conserve electricity from
3-7 pm

Austin, August 4, 2011 – Consumers and businesses are asked to reduce their
electricity use during peak electricity hours from 3 to 7 p.m. today to
avert the need for rotating outages.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), system operator for
the state’s bulk transmission grid, initiated Energy Emergency Alert Level 2
at 2:26 p.m. today due to responsive reserves below 1,750 megawatts (MW).

“Interruptible loads” large customers paid to be dropped in a level 2
emergency have been deployed,” said Kent Saathoff, vice president of system
planning and operations.

“Capacity is expected to be very tight over the peak today” particularly
between 4 and 5 p.m. We are asking consumers and businesses to reduce their
electricity use as much as they are able during peak electricity hours from
3 to 7 p.m.,” Saathoff said.

Consumers can help by shutting off unnecessary lights and electrical
appliances, minimizing the use of air conditioning and delaying laundry and
other activities requiring electricity-consuming appliances until later in
the evening.

Power Warnings are issued by the electric grid operator, the Electric
Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), when there is a high risk that
rotating outages will be needed to reduce load.

The emergency procedures are a progressive series of steps that allow ERCOT
to bring on uncommitted generation and power from other grids. If the
situation does not improve, ERCOT will first drop load resources (a
market-based demand response program) and other resources under contract to
be interrupted during an emergency. Only as a last resort (Power Emergency)
to avoid the risk of a complete blackout does ERCOT ask utilities to reduce
demand by dropping load through rotating outages.

Rotating outages are controlled, temporary interruptions of electrical
service initiated by each utility when supplies of reserve power are
exhausted. Without this safety valve, generators would overload and begin
shutting down to avoid damage, risking a domino effect of a region-wide
outage.

The outages are typically limited to 15-45 minutes before being rotated to a
different neighborhood. Some customers may experience longer outages if
power surges cause equipment failure during the restoration process.
Customers can minimize power surges by turning off appliances, lights and
other equipment, except for one task light to determine when power has been
restored.

Consumers should contact the utility company/ transmission provider listed
on their electric bill for information about power outages at their homes or
business, or about rotating outage procedures for their area.

Energy Emergency Alert Communications

Conservation Tips

Consumers can help by shutting off unnecessary lights and electrical
appliances between 3 and 7 p.m., and delaying laundry and other activities
requiring electricity-consuming appliances until later in the evening. Other
conservation tips from the Public Utility Commission’s “Powerful Advice”
include:

* Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.
* When at home, close blinds and drapes that get direct sun, set air
conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, and use fans in occupied
rooms to feel cooler.
* When away from home, set air conditioning thermostats to 85 degrees and
turn all fans off before you leave. Block the sun by closing blinds or
drapes on windows that will get direct sun.
* Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee makers,
or other home appliances during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m.
* Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary.
* Use microwaves for cooking instead of an electric range or oven.
* Set your pool pump to run in the early morning or evening instead of the
afternoon.
Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and
electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible. Large consumers of
electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential
production processes.

Consumer Assistance

* Public Utility Commission Consumer Hotline ??” 1-888-782-8777
* Office of Public Utility Counsel Consumer Assistance ??” 1-877-839-0363

Call Your Electric Utility for Information about Local Outages

ERCOT manages the state’s high-voltage bulk electricity grid. For questions
about local outages at your home or business, or questions about rotating
outage procedures for your neighborhood, contact the utility company or
transmission provider listed on your electric bill.

American Electric Power – AEP
Austin Energy
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative
Brazos Electric Power Cooperative
Brownsville Public Utilities Board
Bryan Texas Utilities
CenterPoint Energy
College Station Utilities
CPS Energy San Antonio
Denton Municipal Electric
Garland Power & Light
Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative
LCRA
Magic Valley Electric Cooperative
Nueces Electric Cooperative
Oncor
Pedernales Electric Cooperative
Rayburn County Electric Cooperative
Sharyland Utilities
South Texas Electric Cooperative
Texas-New Mexico Power

Source:

http://www.emergencyemail.org/newsemergency/anmviewer.asp?a=1306

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