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ERCOT to address transmission limitations to the Rio Grande Valley

10 months 6 days 21 hours ago Wednesday, July 14 2021 Jul 14, 2021 July 14, 2021 8:12 AM July 14, 2021 in News - Local

Under the unrelenting heat during the month of June, the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which operates the statewide grid, told Texans they could face a blackout due to the high demand for power.

And the Rio Grande Valley's location didn't help with that.

"Historically, the RGV is geographically isolated from other places in Texas," said Cleiri Quezada, a spokesperson for the Brownsville Public Utility Board, which provides power, water, and sewer for the southernmost tip of Texas.

Some experts are aware of the Valley's peculiar problem.

RELATED: Death toll rises to 210 from February cold wave in Texas  

"They call it a generic transmission constraint," said Joshua Rhodes, a power grid expert at UT Austin. 

This week, ERCOT issued a list of improvements to the grid's reliability, four months after the blackouts during the February winter storm.

Those include addressing transmission limitations to the Valley and increasing access to power.

According to ERCOT, this includes unannounced checks with power plants to see if they truly are generating the amount of power they claim to be generating.

"It's basically letting us know that they're going assess the area of the Rio Grande Valley to determine whether we need more transmission lines running to the RGV," Quezada said. 

State officials on Tuesday announced 59 more deaths due to the winter storm, bringing the death toll to 210 people. 

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