News Flash

TC News & Information

Posted on: February 16, 2021

Oncor Power Outage News

Power Outage

POWER UPDATE- February 19, 2021- 12:45 PM:

If your power has already been restored, it’s likely to stay that way. ERCOT has announced operations have returned to normal, and they are no longer asking for energy conservation meaning the rolling blackouts are over. 

If you are still without power there is likely a failure in your system and you need to report it! Please report your outage by calling 888-313-4747, texting OUT to 66267, using the MyOncor app or visiting http://ms.spr.ly/6184p7G8Y.

ONCOR UPDATE- February 19, 2021- 8:00 AM:

As of this morning., there are approximately 27,000 remaining outages from the cold weather and lack of generation impacts experienced earlier this week. At the peak of the ERCOT directed load shed, more than 1.3 million customers were left without power. Oncor expects that a substantial amount of those remaining customers will be restored by this evening. 

Personnel also continued working through the night to restore power to more than 19,000 customers impacted by an ice storm that blanketed Palestine, Lufkin, and Nacogdoches late Wednesday and Thursday, with 72,000 outages remaining. They expect the majority of storm restoration to be complete in these areas by early Sunday.

If you are still without power, please report your outage by calling 888-313-4747, texting OUT to 66267, using the MyOncor app or visiting http://ms.spr.ly/6184p7G8Y. Oncor greatly appreciates the continued patience of customers and recognizes the hardships faced throughout this statewide power emergency. 

The low temperatures, hazardous road conditions, and residual impacts of controlled outages on equipment have complicated the restoration process, though personnel continues to work 24/7. In some areas, the damage has been identified within equipment such as transformers as a result of having to quickly power back up massive amounts of energy after the controlled outages concluded. While this damage may temporarily prevent the equipment from powering up every connected customer in the area, personnel will aim to restore as many as possible to provide relief while replacement equipment is being delivered and installed. 

Because generation supply remained stable, ERCOT did not issue any controlled or rotating outages on Thursday – the first full day without a load-shed event since early Monday. Should generation conditions change, Oncor will continue to follow the direction of ERCOT.

ONCOR UPDATE- February 18, 2021- 7:56 AM:

Yesterday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas directed Oncor and other utilities to begin restoring power previously dropped from the electric grid. As a result of the increased generation and stable demand, Oncor has since been able to cease controlled, or rotating, outages.

As of 5:30 a.m. this morning, there are approximately 150,000 remaining Oncor customers without power. This is a result of damage from yesterday’s winter storm, previous winter weather and storm damage that could not be identified until the equipment was re-energized, and damage to electrical equipment caused by record-breaking low temperatures.

Oncor personnel will continue working 24/7 to restore power to these remaining customers. They recognize the hardships that this power emergency has caused for customers and communities. They appreciate their patience as they awaited the return of electric generation and protected the Texas electric grid.

Due to the large amounts of system activity surrounding power restoration, they expect it will take some time for our tracking systems to accurately reflect these updates in our outage map. In addition, they will continue to follow the direction of ERCOT should electric generation change and immediately take steps to inform customers of any updates.

ONCOR UPDATE- February 17, 2021 - 10:00 AM:

There continues to be a lack of available generation, and as a result, controlled outages remain in place as directed by ERCOT. Due to lowered power demand overnight, Oncor and other utilities were able to restore some of the previously dropped power load and increase our capability to rotate some outages throughout the territory. Even with this increased capability, we still have many customers who continue to experience extended outages. We continue to strive toward providing any temporary relief that we can for those who have been without power the longest as soon as enough generation is available. However, as we saw yesterday, low temperatures of the early morning and increased power demand may result in direction from ERCOT to once again reduce additional load. We will continue to take their direction as we focus on ensuring the integrity of the electric grid.

The second winter storm is also continuing to move through our service territory, potentially resulting in multiple inches of snow, significant ice and sleet accumulation. While weather impacts are ongoing, personnel and out-of-state mutual assistance contractors were staged across the territory before the storm and are now actively engaged in restoration efforts. These personnel are well experienced in working in extreme weather conditions and will be working around the clock to assess damages, clear debris and repair damaged equipment.

FAQ’s

Q: Why is my power out?

Customers have power outages for two primary reasons: First, controlled power outages in response to the shortage of generation. Oncor does not generate electricity or control or operate generation facilities – we deliver it. As a result of this generation shortage, ERCOT, which oversees the Texas electric grid, has directed transmission and distribution companies like Oncor to reduce load on the electrical grid through controlled outages.

These controlled outages were intended to roll throughout the service territory, but the high amount of load dropped from the grid prevented us and other utilities from performing regular rotations, leading to extended periods without power for many of our customers. We continue to strive toward providing any temporary relief that we can for those who have been without power the longest as soon as enough generation is available.

Additionally, the second winter storm is also continuing to move through our service territory, potentially resulting in multiple inches of snow, significant ice and sleet accumulation. Personnel and out of state mutual assistance contractors are actively engaged in restoration efforts.  

Q How does Oncor decide who is affected by controlled or rotating outages?

The location of controlled, or rotating, outages depends on a variety of load factors, including the amount ERCOT has directed us to drop and the amount available to be safely disconnected. These types of outages primarily occur in residential neighborhoods and commercial areas. We also strive to avoid dropping hospitals and other critical loads and infrastructure.

Typically, Oncor’s emergency operation plans spread these outages across the service territory on a rotating basis. Due to this unique widespread power emergency however, ERCOT has directed Oncor to drop a record amount of load over a much longer period of time. Therefore, we have had to drop all available, non-critical load and regular rotations have often been prevented. These outages are absolutely critical for ensuring the integrity of the grid and preventing cascading impacts such as a blackout. We will continue to rotate outages where possible and aim to provide any temporary relief that we can for those who have been without power the longest as soon as enough generation is available.

Q: Why are some homes out for hours and others not at all?

Controlled outages can affect customers differently based on the load reduction required by ERCOT. For example, customers near critical facilities, or those in limited areas where rolling outages cannot take place to maintain grid stability, may not experience outages, while those farther from these facilities or areas may experience multiple outages for longer periods of time.

Additionally, in case there are instances of substantial generation drop, safeguards are built into our system that drop customer loads automatically to prevent cascading widespread outages, or ultimately a blackout. These are designed to be short term drops that are reset quicker than controlled outages to prepare for the next response opportunity. As these limited areas must be energized in order to provide this grid protection, it could affect you but not your neighbor. Keeping these limited areas energized also helps stabilize the system, so when controlled outages are done, we can more easily get everything reconnected and turned back on. These are diverse geographical areas across the grid, based solely on the mathematic and engineering needs of the electric system.

Lastly, while these controlled outages were intended to roll throughout the service territory, the high amount of load dropped from the grid prevented us and other utilities from performing regular rotations, leading to extended periods without power for many of our customers. We continue to strive toward providing any temporary relief that we can for those who have been without power the longest as soon as enough generation is available.

Outages due to storm damage also affect different customers in different ways. A downed power line might affect your home but again, not your neighbor.

Q: When will my power be restored?

For controlled outages: ERCOT has been unable to predict when more generation will be available and when there will be enough electric supply to meet customer demand. We are doing all we can to ensure Oncor will be prepared to safely deliver electricity to our customers as soon as ERCOT allows. 

For winter storm damage: Our crews and out of state mutual assistance contractors are now actively engaged in restoration efforts. Continued winter impacts such as extreme cold, treacherous road conditions and ice buildup may impact progress. However, these personnel are well experienced in working in extreme weather conditions and will be working around the clock to assess damages, clear debris and repair damaged equipment. Even then, power from ERCOT must be available for us to reenergize your home or business.

The bottom line: Because ERCOT cannot yet tell us when power will be available, we continue asking all Oncor customers to be prepared to be without power for an extended period of time. 

Q: When will power generation plants come back on-line?

Oncor does not own or operate generation facilities. The current cold weather has caused many of these generators to shut down and ERCOT has not told us when to expect them back on-line. We continue to strive toward providing any temporary relief that we can for those who have been without power the longest as soon as enough generation is available.

ONCOR UPDATE- February 17, 2021 - 7:26 AM:

There continues to be a lack of available generation, and as a result, controlled outages remain in place as directed by ERCOT. Due to lowered power demand overnight, Oncor and other utilities were able to restore some of the previously dropped power load and increased our capability to rotate some outages throughout the territory. Even with this increased capability, they still have many customers who continue to experience extended outages. Oncor continues to strive toward providing any temporary relief that they can for those who have been without power the longest as soon as enough generation is available. However, as they saw yesterday, low temperatures of the early morning and increased power demand may result in a direction from ERCOT to once again reduce additional load. They will continue to take their direction as we focus on ensuring the integrity of the electric grid.

A full update release coming soon…

TC UPDATE REGARDING ONCOR - February 17, 2021 - 7:26 AM:

Please understand, the Town of Trophy Club, nor any other city in Texas has any control or oversight of Oncor or ERCOT. Oncor is regulated by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) regarding its capital infrastructure, rate increases, and what it can and cannot do in any Texas city. We feel as helpless and frustrated as our residents. Trophy Club is trying to communicate and express how dire our situation is to both entities, but this message is coming from all of the cities in Texas. In the meantime, the Town of Trophy Club will continue to do what we can to help everyone get through this week.

ONCOR UPDATE - February 16, 2021- 7:42AM -

Due to ongoing record-low temperatures and generation, ERCOT has continued to direct Oncor and utilities across the state to drop power load through maintained controlled outages. These controlled outages are occurring across the state and the entire Oncor service territory. Oncor was able to rotate some outages overnight, but poor grid conditions have continued to prevent us and other utilities from rotating, or rolling, the entirety of these outages, leading to extended periods without power for many of our customers.

At this time, ERCOT is unable to predict when grid conditions will stabilize, and urge all customers to be prepared for extended outages to continue. We also urge customers to prioritize the safety of themselves, their loved ones and their neighbors. Tips to stay warm during power outages include closing blinds and curtains and closing room doors to help contain heat, and stuffing towels in the cracks under doors can help keep the warmth in. Many local counties have also opened warming stations or shelters, which can be located online or by calling 211.

We recognize the hardships and extreme frustration customers without power face during these historical low temperatures and are ready to deliver power as soon as electric generators are able to provide it. As soon as enough generation is available, we will return to a regular cadence of rotating outages with the goal of providing any temporary relief that we can for those who have been without power the longest.

Additionally, our crews continue to restore equipment damaged by the significant winter storm so those homes and businesses can receive power as soon as possible. We have relocated crews, including mutual assistance contractors from out of state, from areas with limited damage to areas with more damage to make repairs as quickly and safely as possible. We are closely watching the coming winter storm that is forecast for Tuesday night and Wednesday to ensure that we have the needed resources to address any damage from the storm.

Previous Update and FAQ Available Here.

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