Texas’ power grid is running at normal operations, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said on a conference call Friday morning.
“We just got the notice from our control room that we have left the last stage of emergency operations, so we are completely back to normal operations,” said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. ERCOT manages power for more than 26 million Texans, about 90% of the state’s electric load.
ERCOT said it did not need to initiate any additional outages overnight Thursday to keep power supply and electricity demand in balance and that any outages that occurred were due to weather. Anyone without power should contact their service provider.
ERCOT had been operating under emergency conditions since early Monday as freezing temperatures and a winter storm idled many of the state’s wind turbines and resulted in reduced oil and gas production, impacting the electricity generators that rely on fossil fuels. Rolling blackouts across the state left more than 4 million Texans without power.
At the same time, the frigid weather conditions resulted in increased demand from ERCOT customers, sending electricity prices soaring.
Spot electricity prices in Texas’ West hub climbed above the grid’s $9,000 per megawatt-hour cap. Power typically costs $25 per megawatt-hour. The sharp rise in costs was due to the auction system used by ERCOT that results in higher prices when there is scarcity.
Texas lawmakers will hold hearings next week on the power outages in an effort to determine what went wrong. The ERCOT board of directors is also scheduled to meet on the matter.
“Texas can’t afford for this to happen again,” Magness said.