Texas electricity grid to bring backup units online

Associated Press
August 18, 2011

ERCOT says four inactive natural gas units will be reactivated for emergency use through October as the state battles extreme heat and drought.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said Tuesday it had agreed to short-term deals with NRG Energy and Garland Power and Light to bring the units online.

ERCOT Chief Executive Trip Doggett says the four units would be used only in emergencies to avoid competing with companies already bidding in the state's deregulated energy market.

Two weeks ago, the state set a power demand record three straight days, topping out at 68,295 megawatts and barely avoiding rotating outages. ERCOT says the four backup units can provide 400 megawatts of electricity.