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With heatwave underway, ERCOT asks Texans to conserve power following 6 facilities briefly going offline Friday

One way to help, officials say, is to set thermostats to 78 degrees or above between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. this weekend.

AUSTIN, Texas — About a week after rising concerns of high demand, ERCOT on Friday is again asking Texans to conserve power.

Friday afternoon, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said six power generation facilities tripped offline. This resulted in the loss of about 2,900 MW of electricity.

ERCOT is asking Texans to conserve power when possible by setting thermostats to 78 degrees or above and to avoid using large appliances such as dishwashers, washers and dryers during peak hours between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. through the weekend.

"With unseasonably hot weather driving record demand across Texas, ERCOT continues to work closely with the power industry to make sure Texans have the power they need," ERCOT said in a press release.

ERCOT said that all generation resources are now operating and provided the following resource performance percentages as of 4 p.m.:

  • Thermal -- 50,703 (66%)
  • Wind -- 5,859 (17%)
  • Solar -- 8,333 (73%)

Friday's news comes just hours after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he met with members of ERCOT and the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUC) at his office.

"We continue to work closely to ensure Texas’ power grid remains reliable and meets the needs of Texans," he said prior to ERCOT's announcement.

Doug Lewin, the founder of Stoic Energy, said there are different reasons plants can go offline. It could be either planned maintenance or forced outages, like if something breaks. He said the big question is: Will power plants be ready for when the summer heat? 

Lewin said extended heatwaves could pose an issue for the power grid and reliability. 

"More and more likely we're going to see these extended deep and dangerous heat waves. And if we get that kind of thing in July and August, you know, I think it's highly likely we would have rolling outages," Lewin said.

Watch the full interview with Lewin here: 

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