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Rolling Blackouts Unlikely This Summer, ERCOT Says

The dark clouds of yesterday's power emergency are clearing, ERCOT says, but winter weather is still expected to cause some travel delays.
Nasha Lee, KUT News
The dark clouds of yesterday's power emergency are clearing, ERCOT says, but winter weather is still expected to cause some travel delays.

Rolling blackouts are unlikely this summer, according to the state’s grid regulator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which released its outlook (PDF) for the adequacy of the power grid for the summer months.

“If we do have a much hotter than normal summer, one like 2011, or if we have much higher than normal generator outages, we could be into our emergency procedures this summer,” said Kent Saathoff, executive advisor at ERCOT.

Those emergency procedures begin by cutting power to industrial and commercial users who get a break on their electric bills for the potential inconvenience. If that’s not enough to fix the power shortage, ERCOT would begin rolling blackouts across the state.

The last time that happened was in early 2011.

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Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at nbernier@kut.org. Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.