HOUSTON - On Tuesday, leaders in charge of the Texas power grid addressed concerns ahead of what could be a hot summer.
"We can say with absolute confidence to Texans, the lights will stay on this summer," said Chairman Peter Lake, Public Utility Commission of Texas.
Throughout the last two weeks, an extreme heat wave has tormented Texans. Statewide, temperatures have reached historically high levels for this early in the season.
"Going into this summer, I want Texas to know that we will continue to operate with a margin of safety," said Lake. "We will have more reserves than before. We will continue to operate with an abundance of caution. We will bring more generators online sooner rather than later. We have a higher reserve going into this summer, that last summer. This grid is more reliable than it’s ever been before."
Last Friday, six power generators failed across the state. As a result, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) sent out an alert urging Texans to conserve power to avoid possible outages.
According to Brad Jones, Interim CEO of ERCOT, Texans conserved between 300 and 400 megawatts of power over the weekend.
"What we found on Friday, was a rapidly changing situation for the grid," said Jones. "We decided to make a call for conservation on that Friday and throughout the weekend, and it worked. Texas responded. I want to tell all of you who responded, thank you."
On Tuesday, we asked people in Houston if they felt confident ERCOT could keep the lights on in Texas this summer.
"I don’t think so," said Omar. "The way they’re managed, it’s for profit, not for consumer."
"Nope, [I’m not worried]," said Bob McAlpine. "Nothing I can do about it."
After a historically hot two weeks, leaders of the Texas power grid say the lights will stay on for Texans this summer.
"We feel very confident about our position this summer," said Jones. "As always, we have to be careful of those times when it’s both dark and still. We have to make sure we have generation to balance our fleet when wind and solar aren’t available to us. But we’re very happy to have that, and it’s making our grid stronger."
Later this week, ERCOT plans to release why the six power generators failed on Friday.