The following are important updates from Wise Electric:
- Thursday, February 18 – Early this morning ERCOT and Transmission/Generation partners were able to get enough power to the electric grid to meet the demand.Rotating outages have ceased for WEC Members but energy conservation is still needed through this winter storm as temperatures are still expected to be low through the end of the week.*Lower thermostat(s) to 68 degrees
*Use Blinds/Curtains to keep heat in during cloudy days and nights – Open Blinds on sunny days to help heat the house.
*Use towels, tape, etc. to seal any leaking windows or doors.
*Avoid using large appliances 6-9am and 4-8pm
- If you are still experiencing an outage or blinking, contact WEC Customer Service by phone, website or app.
- WEC would also like to thank our Membership for their part in conserving energy and rectifying this historic situation.
- Monday, February 15 – Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) declared a statewide power emergency and order all electric utilities in Texas to begin rotating outages.
- Monday, February 15 – statewide outages ordered by ERCOT to maintain the stability of the electric grid.
- According to ERCOT, conditions may improve within the next 24 hours. However, a Winter Storm Warning remains in effect through 6 a.m. Thursday. Temperatures are forecast to remain below freezing during this period. WEC is advising all Members to prepare for potential outages over the next several days.
- If WEC Members are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, we are encouraging them, to call 911.
Based on emails, phone calls, received by WEC here are the top questions asked by our Members:
- Why have I experienced several outages while others have experienced one or fewer?
Load is shed by feeder, with priority given to feeders based on public health and safety, such as hospitals, nursing homes and fire departments. Or dedicated lines such as gas compression loads. Please note that we could be required to shed this critical load, as well,
- When will my power be restored?
That is unknown. WEC does not know when ERCOT may lift the order for rotating outages. As ERCOT allows utilities to restore load, we will do so. At the beginning of this emergency, we expected individual outages to be approximately 30 minutes. However, as the amount of load to shed was increased, due to loss of generation facilities that outage time has been extended.
- Why did this happen?
The sustained, historic low temperatures resulted in record electricity use. When it comes to electricity, demand must always equal supply. If demand outstrips supply, the potential exists for the entire electric grid to collapse. To prevent this, ERCOT has a system of rotating outages – temporary, controlled events designed to maintain grid stability and prevent an uncontrolled event from happening. While the past few days have been stressful and uncomfortable, the alternative to these outages – an uncontrolled event resulting in a true blackout – is far worse and would result in extended restoration times.
WEC Employees are working diligently to respond to this winter weather emergency. We understand the frustration and fear that prompts this current weather situation that is covering the entire state of Texas.
WINTER WEATHER PREPARATION
Wise Electric has been informed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to prepare for an extended period of sub-freezing temperatures as well as frozen precipitation. Wise Electric Cooperative (WEC) is taking this action very seriously and is vigorously preparing for the many issues that these extended periods of cold temperatures and the of frozen precipitation present. The main concerns for the cooperative include the potential for local outages as well as the possibility of demand curtailment that could be issued by ERCOT. The cooperative has advised all employees to remain available through the event in an effort to respond quickly and efficiently to any and all occurrences. In the event of demand curtailment, all arranged outages will be a minimum of 20 minutes and could last longer. Demand curtailment (Rolling Outages) will last as long as ERCOT demands the cooperative to do so. The cooperative hopes that the problems are minimal and that load shed is not initiated; however, we are constantly preparing for these situations and will continue to monitor conditions as the weather unfolds. WEC encourages its members to monitor local media outlets in the event of voluntary conservation and to participate in conservation if needed. Please remember to stay safe during this event and please notify the cooperative with any issues or concerns.
None at this time.
Effective immediately, the cooperative has temporarily suspended pole inspection activities, however, Wise Electric will continue to change poles that have been deemed defective. Should members receive notice, it will be for accessing property to change poles, regular maintenance activities like tree-trimming, outage restoration, field engineering or other related work. This work will be done by Wise Electric employees, or contractors working for the cooperative for line construction (FX5 and Higgs Electric) or tree-trimming (Horton Tree Services). If you experience anyone else claiming to be performing such activity for the cooperative, please call our office at 940-627-2167.
Pole Inspection Audit
Wise Electric has enlisted the services of REI Utility, Inc. to do a system audit in the Holly Ridge Subdivision west of Decatur. This audit is in response to a request by a communication company to attach their cable to cooperative poles. This project should be completed by Friday, September 11, 2020. Please offer these employees the same courtesy as you would any other cooperative employee. Please call the Decatur office with questions or comments.