BRAZOS VALLEY, TX — The electric reliability council of Texas conducted an emergency board meeting to share with the public the events that took place during last week's severe cold weather.
The rolling power outages last week lasted 70 hours taking the Lone Star State by storm. ERCOT held a board meeting to explain the events that took place in a detailed presentation.
”One of the most important things about delivering power by electricity, is that at all times the amount of electricity being generated must exactly match the amount of load that the customer has,” said Don Russell, professor at Texas A&M Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The state of Texas has never seen cold temperatures like this before leaving our energy source vulnerable. According to ERCOT's statistics, the last time they requested transmission operations to roll outages was in 2011.
”What happened of course last week is that we lost so many generators in a short period of time," added Russell. "There was no way to meet the excessive demand, the highest demand we’ve seen in the winter ever,”
Losing generators caused the frequency levels to drop.
“If you stay at that level 59.4 for 9 minutes, or more, generation units begin to trip off on their own," said Bill Magness, the President and Chief Executive Officer of ERCOT. "It becomes unsafe or unstable for those generation units to stay on if we’re sitting at that low of frequency for 9 minutes or more,”
According to the data shown Texas sat below the borderline safe level of frequency, what they referred to as the danger zone for a total of 4 minutes and 23 seconds.
“The only way to adjust that is to have the various power delivery groups the local utilities lower the demand which means, of course, cutting people off, rolling blackouts,” said Russell.
Bryan Texas Utilities was requested to drop 51% of the load shed to restore power for all.
After the emergency meeting, at least 5 board members have resigned, all of whom, reside outside of the state.