Bandera Electric Cooperative, and all utilities across Texas, are experiencing an unprecedented event with state-mandated rolling power outages and extreme weather conditions.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers and ensures the reliability, safety, and integrity of the Texas grid. ERCOT establishes policies and predetermined emergency curtailment procedures that all electric utilities, including BEC, must follow.
One rule in particular, governs the situation when electricity generation cannot keep pace with consumption, or when demand exceeds supply, putting the entire grid at risk. To circumvent this situation, ERCOT requires all utilities to reduce electric load to maintain grid balance.
On February 15, ERCOT declared an Energy Emergency Alert Level 3 when operating reserves dropped below 1,750 Megawatts. ERCOT directed utilities to begin rotating outages throughout the state to reduce demand on the system and prevent catastrophic failure. Therefore, BEC began cycling its distribution feeders on and off for 15-45 minutes, every hour to reduce the energy burden on the electric system.
BEC maintains a detailed operations plan should an emergency event occur. Outlined in the plan is the responsibility to protect critical facilities, such as water treatment facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, first responders, police, and fire facilities. The plan exempts from rotation nine of 54, or just under 17-percent, of our distribution feeders that support critical facilities.
“I can assure you that the dedicated employees of BEC are working around-the-clock to provide support for our members during this historic event,” said Bill Hetherington, BEC CEO. “I ask for your patience and assistance.”
To help reduce demand, please turn your thermostat down to 68 degrees, disconnect any electrical devices not in use, and minimize the use of large appliances such as washers and dryers. To learn more about Energy Emergency Alerts, please visit www.BanderaElectric.com/EEAFAQ