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Experts weigh in on ERCOT's power conservation alert

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The request for Texans to conserve energy made by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) earlier this week is causing some business owners in the Valley concern.

Fabien Vela, owner of Birdie Bistro in McAllen, says just like people at home, his team has to reduce the use of large appliances like ovens, and air conditioners, even if they’re essential to the business.

Oil and gas expert at Southern Methodist University Bruce Bullock says ERCOT’s asking Texans to lower their power use came earlier than before the usual.

Power grid specialist Joshua Rhodes said this week some power plants were offline simultaneously, as opposed to last February when the freeze put power generators offline.

“The alerts are normal,” Rhodes said. “The amount of power plants that are offline for forced maintenance is not normal.”

ERCOT has not said why or which plants were offline.

Officials said the Comanche Peak Nuclear Plant, located about 60 miles southwest of Fort Worth, was not operating at 100%.

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