Texas grid operator ERCOT ends calls for energy conservation

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) command center in Taylor
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) command center in Taylor, Texas August 14, 2012. REUTERS/Julia Robinson/File Photo

April 13 (Reuters) - Texas grid operator the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) on Tuesday ended its earlier request to curb power consumption due to outages and increased demand from cold weather in parts of the state.

"Our energy conservation appeal has ended without the need for an energy emergency," ERCOT said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, the grid operator urged consumers and businesses to reduce their electricity usage and warned of entering emergency conditions, which would allow it to "access tools that will bring supply and demand back into line."

The call for conservation comes two months after a deep freeze knocked out power for up to 4.5 million residents, killed more than 100 people, and pushed up power costs to a level that triggered three provider bankruptcies.

Higher than expected demand and power generation offline due to winterization, low wind and cloudy conditions had reduced available generation by 21.6 Gigawatts. Solar generation was running at 38% of capacity, down from usual 72%, according to data provider Enverus.

ERCOT's real-time market price for one megawatt hour rose to nearly $2,000 from about $30 on average this time of year, said Rob Allerman, senior director of power analytics at Enverus.

"It is all the unit outages contributing to this, and a load demand that is a little higher than people expected it to be," said Allerman.

Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.