Rolling power outages in effect across Texas as massive winter storm drives demand for electricity

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Texas’ power grid operator is implementing rolling outages in most of the state Monday after a massive winter storm led to an unprecedented demand for electricity and forced several power-generating devices offline.

Blackouts began at. 1:25 central time. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said they were likely to last “all morning and could be initiated until this weather crisis ends.”

“Every network operator and power company is struggling to restore power right now,” ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness said in a press release.

Blackouts are designed to reduce the demand for electricity until capacity can be restored. ERCOT officials hinted Sunday that they might be needed, saying they would likely last between 10 minutes and 45 minutes at a time.

The storm that hit Texas is rare for both magnitude and intensity. On Sunday, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for all 254 counties. Cities like Dallas and Austin had temperatures in the individual digits Monday morning. Close to the coast in places like Houston and Corpus Christi was the weather in teens.

ERCOT announced Sunday night that they had set a winter record for electricity demand, reaching 69,150 megawatts between 6 p.m. 18 and 19. ERCOT said Monday morning that 30,000 megawatts of power generation had been forced by the system. The network operator also said it would provide an update at. 10.30 central time Monday.

The storm has shut down much of the state. Numerous roads are icy, many schools are closed, and at Gov. Greg AbbottUpon request, President Joe Biden declared a federal state of emergency across the state.

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