Texas power grid asks residents to conserve electricity as power plants go offline

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Texas power grid asks residents to conserve electricity as power plants go offline

The Texas power grid asked residents to conserve electricity Friday after six power plants went offline due to soaring temperatures.

Brad Jones, CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, said in a statement that the company had lost roughly 2,900 megawatts of electricity — or enough to power nearly 600,000 homes, the Texas Tribune reported.

Jones referenced the unseasonably hot weather, saying it was driving the demand for power across the state. The temperatures were forecast from Austin to Dallas over the weekend and into next week.

Jones did not say what caused the plants to go offline, and a spokesman did not respond to a request for comment Friday evening.

The executive asked customers to set their thermostats to 78 degrees and not to use large appliances in the afternoon and early evening.

The non-profit energy organization, which manages power for 90 percent of Texas' electrical grid, faced blistering criticism last year after blackouts left millions without power for days during subfreezing temperatures.

The company blamed frozen equipment in an event that left more than 200 people dead, many of whom died from carbon monoxide poisoning as they tried to stay warm. Others froze to death.

The CEO was fired and six board members — including the chairwoman and chairman — resigned.

State lawmakers came up with legislation that would make the grid more resilient to a brutal winter storm.

A year later, an investigation by the Texas Tribune and NBC News found that the grid remained vulnerable, with new regulations allowing companies to avoid the improvements.