Back to School Means Power Concerns

Monday August 22, 2011
Posted at 14:46

Schools across Texas are going back into session, which means ERCOT could face additional power consumption burdens:

School air conditioners are already whining, and when classes start Monday, the state's 8,317 public schools could strain the power grid.

"The main concern is as long as we're still having these high temperatures, we're going to have high electricity demand on the grid," said ERCOT spokesperson Dottie Roark. "And whenever we have that high demand it means we're tight on our capacity."

Altogether, Texas schools add about 1500 megawatts of demand to the state's power grid - enough to have caused rolling blackouts in both July and early August.

"If we suddenly lose a large generation unit or a large amount of generation then we could be, could drop below our required operating reserves and that's when we would have to kick in our first level of emergency procedures," said Roark.

No word yet as to whether ERCOT is facing additional power supply issues.  As we have over the last couple of weeks, we'll post updates on future ERCOT announcements.

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