Grid operator asks for conservation as cold grips state

Texas’ main grid operator is asking consumers to conserve electricity Monday morning as another cold wave moves through the state.

Earlier this year the grid got close to the intermittent, regional outages called rolling blackouts as power plants shut down unexpectedly at the same time demand for heating rose.

“The cold weather and accompanying wind that has spread across the region today is expected to result in high electric demand for tomorrow’s peak,” said Dan Woodfin, director of system operations for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

Suggested conservation measures include keeping thermostats set as low as comfortable — the grid operator suggests 68 degrees or lower; unplugging unused electric devises; and avoiding use of large appliances  such as washing machines during the alert period.

“We have asked all available generation units to be prepared for tomorrow morning’s demand, but we believe conservation by consumers also will be necessary to help maintain overall reliability during this extreme winter weather,” Woodfin said in a news release.