Power restored for some U.S. Texan homes

U.S. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Wednesday that power is restored to some Texan homes.

A total of 6,000 megawatts of power was added to the state’s grid, which equates to 1.2 million households being restored, local media quoted Abbott as saying.

“There are various small, natural gas generators that are currently going on and off,” local media KTRK quoted Abbott as saying. “They should sporadically add about 3,000 megawatts over the next 24 hours and that would equate to about 600,000 homes.”

Abbott also said that about 19,800 megawatts of gas-powered generation is still offline due to mechanical issues or the lack of gas supply.

The governor said he has issued an order effective from Feb. 17 to Feb. 21. requiring natural gas producers that have been shipping to locations outside Texas to instead sell that natural gas to Texas power generators.

As for renewable-generated power, he said 17,200 megawatts are offline due to freezing temperatures and lack of sunlight.

According to the update from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Wednesday night, 1.6 million households in the state had power restored since Wednesday morning.

“We’re at a point in the restoration where we’re going to keep energizing circuits as fast as we safely can until we run out of available generation,” said ERCOT Senior Director of System Operations Dan Woodfin. “We hope to make significant progress overnight.”

They added it is possible that by Thursday morning, local utilities may be able to go back to rotating outages versus keeping power off for extended periods of time.

Texas’ power grid experienced a system-wide failure Monday morning as the ERCOT declared an “energy emergency alert three” after record-breaking energy use strained utilities beyond capacity together with some power plants failure due to severe weather and freezing temperatures across the state.