Cold temps prompt power outages
Wilson County News
February 2, 2011 | 2218 views | 5 comments
FLORESVILLE -- With temperatures plunging into the teens due to the Arctic blast that blew into Texas Feb. 1, the Electric Reliability Council Of Texas (ERCOT) has requested some utilities companies to curtail their power usage. This was confirmed by David McMillan, general manager of the Floresville Electric Light & Power System (FELPS), and Leroy Skloss, general manager of the Karnes Electric Cooperative, on Feb. 2.
FELPS had not been asked to reduce its electrical load by 15 to 20 percent, McMillan said. However, Karnes Electric Cooperative and Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative (GVEC) were asked to reduce their loads by creating controlled rolling blackouts, as was CPS Energy, which supplies the greater San Antonio area. The first round of blackouts began Wednesday, Feb. 2, around 6 a.m. Karnes Electric customers were experiencing a second round of blackouts beginning at approximately 10:30 a.m, Skloss said. Customers “could lose power for 20 minutes” at their homes or businesses, according to information posted on www.gvec.org. Power should be restored after a short time.
“If your power is off for more than an hour, call to be sure you don’t have an individual power outage,” Skloss said.
Although FELPS customers were not immediately affected, McMillan warned customers a rolling blackout in the area “remains a possibility,” due to freezing temperatures predicted to continue through Friday.
Essential customers, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and law-enforcement offices, should not be affected by the outages.
According to ERCOT, without the safety valve provided by controlled blackouts, “... generators would overload and begin shutting down to avoid damage, risking a domino effect of a region-wide outage.”
Contact your local provider to report an extended outage.
Karnes Electric Cooperative: 830-780-3952 or 830-569-5538
GVEC: La Vernia, 830-253-1600; Gonzales, 830-857-1200; Seguin, 830-379-2114; Schertz, 210-658-7033.
Power conservation tips
•Limit electricity usage to only that which is absolutely necessary. Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.
•Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
•Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.
Source: Feb. 2 ERCOT press release
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