Record Breaking Heat Wave Prompted a Level One Power Watch

AC units across the state are working overtime to combat the triple digit heat and there is a mounting concern the state's electric grid will not be able to keep up.

The record breaking heat wave prompted a level one power watch in our area Monday and residents all over the state were asked to conserve energy for several hours.

This comes after state energy officials told Newschannel 6 just two weeks ago that there was enough energy to keep up with the heat.

Officials from the Electric Reliability Council Of Texas, or ERCOT, say three large generation plants went down Monday because of equipment problems.

Losing those three plants during peak hours of the day forced officials to ask all Texans to conserve energy.

Record high temperatures and unexpected energy plant outages at the peak hours of the day, is not a good combination.

Mike Nieto, Oncor's West Region Manager here in Wichita Falls says, "ERCOT sent this alert out asking residents of Texas to conserve energy from 3PM to the evening hours.  Just do what you can to lessen the electrical load in Texas."

ERCOT controls 85 percent of the energy grid of Texas.  Officials say on Monday they experienced some problems with three large power plants going down, causing their responsive reserve energy load to also go down.

When this happens mandatory emergency procedures need to be followed.

There are three emergency levels ERCOT will follow when energy levels get low.  Despite hitting level one on Monday, already so early in the summer, they do not plan on this happening again.

Wichita Falls residents like Mark Tucker and Daniel Streeter want to hear this after having to deal with those rolling power outages during the February freeze.

ERCOT officials tell Newschannel 6 that the three power plants are back up and running again. Officials do not believe the equipment problems were due to the heat.

ERCOT encourages residents to limit their usage to only that consumption which is absolutely necessary.  Also, turn of all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment, especially during peak hours of the day.

Natalie Garcia,   Newschannel 6