Expect rolling blackouts as winter storm continues, Texas' power grid operator warns

click to enlarge COURTESY / NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
Courtesy / National Weather Service
If things haven't gone dark at your house yet, there's a chance they may before the wintry weather is over.

The operator of Texas' electrical grid said it began conducting rolling blackouts Monday after the near-statewide storm led to unprecedented electrical demand and forced power-generating plants offline. 

"Every grid operator and every electric company is fighting to restore power right now," said Bill Magness, the president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), in a news release.

The blackouts are intended to reduce demand until utilities can restore generating facilities, and they could continue through the weather emergency. As of Monday, some 30,000 megawatts of Texas' power-generating capacity was unavailable, according to ERCOT.

In a statement on its website, San Antonio's CPS Energy said that the ERCOT outages are expected throughout the day. However, if an outage is longer than 15 minutes, it's likely part of a separate outage not related to the rolling blackouts, the utility said.

CPS will offer updated information online.

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