LUBBOCK, Texas — In just six weeks, Lubbock will be switching it’s electrical grid to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas or ERCOT grid.
It’s a project that’s six years in the making, and Lubbock Power and Light are beginning the final stages of construction.
“We are still on track, May 29th and 30th, to migrate over 70 percent of our grid to ERCOT,” said LP&L Spokesperson Matt Rose.
ERCOT recently came under fire for the way it handled February’s winter storm after a system failure left thousands across the state of Texas without power.
But on Tuesday, ERCOT issued an urgent request for conservation to businesses and consumers as a precaution. And while the request for conservation did end Tuesday night, it spiked community concern.
“We understand these concerns, but what we also want to make sure that everybody understands that the process of joining ERCOT, and the idea that in this point in time,” Rose said, “that we could stay home and that that would be a decision that has no consequences, is just not a true narrative.”
But according to Rose, the reason for the urgent conservation request is simple and not unusual for this time of year.
“You take power plants offline to do maintenance to make sure that when we get to the triple heat of the summer we don’t have an issue,” said Rose.
Rose said when a grid issues a statement like ERCOT did, it’s usually no cause for concern.
“We have folks that assume that means a blackout or assume that means a brown out, and in all of these instances that’s not the case. They are just getting ahead of it,” said Rose.
But despite February’s issues, LP&L is confident this switch is the right move for Lubbock
“The reasons for joining ERCOT — they still exist today,” said Rose. “Having an event like what happened in February is never ideal when you are on the doorstep of joining that market. But in an odd way having that event take place before entering the market means that the solutions are underway.”
LP&L said customers can expect short and temporary outages on May 29 and 30 as the grid is switched to ERCOT.