7:54 p.m. update: Customers should expect new power outages and for existing power outages to continue, according to a message posted by AEP Texas.
The state’s electric reliability council “directed AEP Texas to reduce load on the electrical grid again,” according to the company’s tweet late Tuesday.
“Please prepare for more power outages, and for current power outages to continue,” the message stated. “AEP Texas crews and employees are ready to begin full restoration of electric service as soon as power is available.”
The company’s website shows about 44,183 customers out of service in Nueces County.
Across its multi-county service area, nearly 390,000 of its roughly 1 million customers are experiencing power outages, according to AEP’s online data.
6 p.m. update: There was still no definitive word as of Tuesday evening when power would be restored to thousands of Nueces County residents.
Around 6 p.m., AEP Texas’ website showed 42,444 customers with outages – a little less than one-third of its total customers in Nueces County.
“As the state continues to experience a shortage of electric generation, AEP Texas continues to await permission from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to begin full restoration even as ERCOT continues to request that AEP Texas and other utilities remove additional electric load from the electric grid,” the company stated in a news release issued Tuesday afternoon.
AEP Texas was instructed late Monday to increase the number of service interruptions that began earlier that day.
Tuesday morning, there had been 47,751 customers without power in Nueces County, according to the AEP website.
The company’s services extend to multiple counties throughout South and West Texas, comprising about 1 million customers. Power to about 386,000 of those customers was down late Tuesday, the company’s website shows.
“Once we receive the go-ahead from ERCOT, we will begin restoring power,” according to AEP’s statement. “In many cases, the extreme cold and the time that customers have been without service will make it necessary for crews to go to substations and manually switch circuits back on. This cannot be done in advance. This will be one of the first steps we take when we receive ERCOT’s green light to begin full restoration.”
If you lost power
- If you lose power, turn off your heating and large appliances to enable smoother service restoration.
- Once power is restored, you should switch the devices back on gradually over the following 30-to-45 minutes. Taking this step will help prevent a sudden surge in demand after power is restored, which could cause a second outage.
- Energy conservation measures are urgently needed now through Tuesday. Steps to help reduce electricity use include:
- Turn the thermostat down 2 to 3 degrees
- Set programmable thermostats to lower temperatures when no one is home.
- Limit use of large appliances (i.e., dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.) • If you cook indoors from 2 to 8 p.m., use a microwave or slow cooker.
- Close blinds and drapes during late afternoon.
Source: AEP Texas
Alexandria Rodriguez covers breaking news and crime in South Texas. Support local news by checking out our subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe