SPP lowers emergency alert to Level 1, ERCOT still at Level 3

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — The Southwest Power Pool announced it had lowered its energy emergency alert to Level 1, but the ERCOT grid paused rolling outages late Wednesday afternoon.

“ERCOT relieved enough capacity that we were able to restore service to every resident and farm and ranch member in our area,” said Lynn Simmons, spokesperson for the South Plains Electric Cooperative.

While hope is on the horizon, the outages may not be over yet.

“I’ll be cautiously optimistic that we have weathered the worst of it, but we have another 24 hours to still be conscientious and mindful and to take care of our system,” said Simmons.

Both Lubbock’s local grids, the Southwest Power Pool and Texas’ ERCOT grid face unprecedented challenges during this storm.

“Really at the bottom of this–at the end of the day, it’s the extreme cold that is not normal,” said Wes Reeves, Spokesperson for Xcel Energy. “And we’ve had a real big spike in demand, which calls for a spike in power generation, and we’ve been limited, so that’s what causes the shortages.”

Lynn Simmons, at SPEC, said the limited supply is caused by widespread extreme temperatures, frozen fuel lines and wind turbines.

“Those were the three main contributing factors to this event,” said Lynn.

While outages might still happen, both ERCOT and SPP saw users answer the call the conserve.

“We actually noticed that we could see the curve, the data curve, flatten at some point because we know customers are turning their thermostat down and refraining from running their clothes dryer,” said Reeves.

They said, in the end, conservation made a huge difference.

“We couldn’t have gotten through this without the customers,” said Reeves.

Both LP&L and SPEC are still asking folks to continue conserving as much power as possible to prevent any more outages.

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