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BTU Rotating Outage Update: power increased to over 100 MW

Bryan Texas Utilities
Posted at 12:41 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 14:05:06-05

BRAZOS VALLEY, TX — The good news?

Following ERCOT's latest directive, BTU is now allowed to increase power to over 100 MW, which is roughly one-third of their entire system!

The bad news?

This level does not allow BTU to rotate outages like before and will leave some customers without electrical services completely. As of Feb 16, ERCOT has not given any indication of these shortages improving until temperatures moderate. Additional freezing temperatures and potential for freezing precipitation linger through Friday.

So how did this all happen?

On Feb 15, around 1:20 A.M. ERCOT declared an Energy Emergency Alert (3); this order, mandates that all electric utilities, like Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU), limit their load on a rotating basis. Basically, this means utilities must turn off power to homes and businesses to fulfill the reduction in electrical demand as dictated.

This has only been called for three times in ERCOT's history, the last happened in Feb of 2011... and lasted only a few hours.

In order to meet real-time demands yesterday, ERCOT limited BTU's output to only 9 MW. According to BTU, this was done so on average, customers reported outages of only 30 to 45 minutes.

According to their news release, "BTU comply with this directive, or potentially put the reliability of the entire ERCOT grid at risk. Defying this directive would also place BTU in non-compliance with market rules and subject to substantial fines and actions levied by the Public Utility Commission of Texas."

Until the Arctic blast passes, BTU customers are encouraged to preserve energy, alleviating some of the stress put on the State's electrical grids.