Oncor Morning Update On Power Outages
From Oncor: Due to ongoing record-low temperatures and generation, ERCOT has continued to direct Oncor and utilities across the state to drop power load through maintained controlled outages. These controlled outages are occurring across the state and the entire Oncor service territory. Oncor was able to rotate some outages overnight, but poor grid conditions have continued to prevent us and other utilities from rotating, or rolling, the entirety of these outages, leading to extended periods without power for many of our customers.
At this time, ERCOT is unable to predict when grid conditions will stabilize, and urge all customers to be prepared for extended outages to continue. We also urge customers to prioritize the safety of themselves, their loved ones and their neighbors. Tips to stay warm during power outages include: closing blinds and curtains and closing room doors to help contain heat, and stuffing towels in the cracks under doors can help keep the warmth in.
Many local counties have also opened warming stations or shelters, which can be located online or by calling 211. We have a list compiled for you of warming stations in DFW.
We recognize the hardships and extreme frustration customers without power face during these historical low temperatures and are ready to deliver power as soon as electric generators are able to provide it. As soon as enough generation is available, we will return to a regular cadence of rotating outages with the goal of providing any temporary relief that we can for those who have been without power the longest.
Additionally, our crews continue to restore equipment damaged by the significant winter storm so those homes and businesses can receive power as soon as possible. We have relocated crews, including mutual assistance contractors from out of state, from areas with limited damage to areas with more damage to make repairs as quickly and safely as possible. We are closely watching the coming winter storm that is forecast for Tuesday night and Wednesday to ensure that we have the needed resources to address any damage from the storm.
Weather, more generation outages last night bring load shed to 18,500 MW. For today…generators to return, renewable output to increase = increased customer restoration. “The number of controlled outages we have to do remains high. We are optimistic that we will be able to reduce the number throughout the day.” -Dan Woodfin, Senior Director of System Operations
Winter Storm Update
According to WFAA, the next round of wintry precipitation will arrive this afternoon for western parts of North Texas. Light snow will spread east along and north of I-20 into the evening. Freezing rain will move into southeastern portions of North Texas tonight.
Q: Why is my power out?
There are two major issues affecting many of customers right now: winter storm outages and controlled power outages directed by ERCOT, which serve to reduce high demand and protect the integrity of the electric grid. Due to the fast moving nature of these two power emergency events, we are not currently able to break down the difference in outages on our Oncor Outage Map.
Q: When will my power be restored?
Given the unique combination of lack of generation and historic winter storm damage, estimated restoration times are not yet known. For outages related to the winter storm, our crews continue working around the clock to restore power. However, continued winter impacts such as extreme cold, treacherous road conditions and ice buildup is impacting progress.
Controlled outages related to grid supply and demand have been significantly extended due to the current emergency grid conditions and severe cold weather. In order to preserve the reliability of the grid, ERCOT has said that additional generation will be needed before power can be restored.
These outages are taking place across the service territory and ERCOT has said they could be required through Tuesday. We are asking all Oncor customers to be prepared to be without power for an extended period of time.
Q: Why are some homes out for hours and others for minutes or not at all?
Again, there are two major issues affecting many of customers right now: winter storm outages and controlled power outages directed by ERCOT. We are using all designated power lines for controlled outages so that hospitals and other critical infrastructure remains intact and system stability is preserved. This means that customers near critical facilities, or those in limited areas where rolling outages won’t take place in order to maintain grid stability, may not experience outages, while those farther from these facilities or areas may be out multiple times or for longer instances.
Additionally, during instances of substantial generation drop, there are safeguards built into the system that drop power loads automatically in order to prevent cascading widespread outages, or ultimately a blackout. These are designed to be shorter term drops that are reset quicker than controlled outages to prepare for the next response opportunity.
Q: When will power generation plants come back on-line?
Due to the severe winter storm, we do not know and it is outside of our control. Conditions for power generation continue to be very serious and the combination of winter weather and reduced generation is unprecedented in the state of Texas. We are prepared for emergency operations to continue for at least several days.