Texas Blackouts Could Last Up to 45 Minutes

Below is updated information from Austin Energy about the need for rolling blackouts today to help shed load from the state’s grid, as ordered by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

AE is implementing rotating blackouts per ERCOT protocols to meet our load shedding requirement. AE is turning off about 40 circuits at a time (we have about 350 circuits). There are 1,000-3,000 customers per circuit.Because of the length of this statewide emergency blackouts will last in the range of 30-45 minutes to allow AE to meet its load shedding requirements.

All AE customers are asked to turn off all possible appliances to both help the overall load shedding requirement AE must meet and to make it easier for AE to bring each circuit back up – during the blackout rotation.

And for a bit of background, here is the text of an earlier press release from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas:

Power Emergency – Conservation CRITICAL – Rotating Outages Have BegunThe Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has instructed utilities to begin rotating outages to compensate for a generation shortage due to numerous plant trips that occurred because of the extreme weather.

Rotating outages are controlled, temporary interruptions of electric service, typically lasting 10-45 minutes per neighborhood. The locations and durations are determined by the local utilities. Critical need customers such as hospitals and nursing homes are generally not included.

It is not known at this time how long the need for rotating outages will last.

Consumers and businesses are urged to reduce their electricity use to the lowest level possible, including these steps:

* Limit electricity usage to only that consumption 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.

See more conservation tips at “Powerful Advice,” Public Utility Commission of Texas: //www.puc.texas.gov/


A Power Emergency indicates that the regional electric grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), has instructed utilities to implement rotating outages to reduce load.

Rotating outages are controlled, temporary interruptions of electrical service initiated by each utility when supplies of reserve power are exhausted. Without this safety valve, generators would overload and begin shutting down to avoid damage, risking a domino effect of a region-wide outage.

Rotating outages primarily affect residential neighborhoods and small businesses and do not typically include critical-need customers such as hospitals and nursing homes.

The outages are limited to 10-45 minutes before being rotated to a different neighborhood. Some customers may experience longer outages if power surges cause equipment failure during the restoration process. Customers can minimize power surges by turning off appliances, lights and other equipment, except for one task light to determine when power has been restored.



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