The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) sent out a press release explaining the two recent transmission emergencies that occurred in the Rio Grande Valley. “ERCOT will analyze the event further and provide a full report to regulators, but we also want people in the area know that, given similar circumstances, these types of events can occur again in the coming years,” said Ken McIntyre, ERCOT vice president for Grid Planning and Operations.

On October 8th, unplanned power plant outages resulted in electric transmission issues in the Valley, which required action by the grid operator to protect the system in that area. ERCOT instructed electric transmission and distribution companies to reduce system demand in the Valley by 200 megawatts (MW) to address transmission issues associated with unplanned power plant outages totaling more than 1,000 MW and system limitations in that region. ERCOT’s request for rotating outages began at 4:47 p.m. and ended at 6:29 p.m. During that time, the grid operator used all available generation in the region and imported about 145 MW of additional generation from the power grid in Mexico.

Then early on October 10th, an unrelated issue associated with an outage on a high-voltage transmission line serving the region led ERCOT to request conservation from area residents to help prevent additional concerns.

ERCOT has stated that two large electric transmission projects are scheduled for completion in 2016, but more work will be needed to keep up with growing demand for electricity in the Valley.