After six power plants were forced to shut down because of the high temperatures, the company in charge of Texas’ power grid encouraged citizens to use less electricity on Friday.
According to the Texas Tribune, CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Brad Jones stated in a statement that the firm has lost over 2,900 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power approximately 600,000 households.
Jones cited the unusually warm weather as a contributing factor to the spike in electricity usage across the state. From Austin to Dallas this weekend and into next week, temperatures are expected to rise over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius).
On Friday evening, a spokeswoman for Jones did not reply to a request for comment, and he did not explain why the plants were shut down.
Customers were urged to keep their thermostats at 78 degrees and refrain from using major appliances in the afternoon and early evening hours.
Blackouts that left millions without power for days in subfreezing conditions sparked outrage last year for the non-profit energy agency, which oversees power for 90% of Texas’ electrical infrastructure.
Frozen equipment was blamed for the deaths of more than 200 individuals, many of whom succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning while trying to keep warm. Others died of hypothermia.
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Six board members, including the chairperson and chairman, resigned in protest over the CEO’s dismissal.
As a result, a slew of bills was introduced by state legislators in an effort to strengthen the grid’s resistance to severe winter weather.