heat

Austin
3:04 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Who Gets Shut Off If We Have Rolling Blackouts?

A map of the 376 circuits that make up Austin Energy's power grid.
Photo from Austin Energy. Map enhanced by Torrie Hardcastle for KUT News

Update: Austin Energy has released an updated version of this map. You can find it and an explanation here.

Earlier: Texas is currently in Energy Emergency Alert Level 2 as the electricity grid struggles to power air conditioning amid sweltering temperatures. Level 3 would require energy companies like Austin Energy to begin rolling blackouts like those we experienced if February.

After the energy crisis this winter, Austin Energy General Manager Larry Weis gave a presentation on the power emergency. The presentation included a map delineating areas of the city connected to so-called "load shed" circuits. These are the circuits that are the first to get turned off in the event of rolling blackouts.

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Austin
1:00 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Austin Energy Chief Concerned About Advance Blackout Warning

Photo by Jessie Wang for KUT News

The risk of rolling blackouts looms over Texas as people crank up their air conditioners to cope with the blistering heat. But the head of Austin Energy indicated today that he doesn’t have a direct way to alert consumers before the lights go out.

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Austin
8:44 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Heat Forces Austin Pets Alive Adoptions Indoors

A dog at an Austin Pets Alive adoption clinic...in cooler climes.
Photo by sheeshoo http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheeshoo/

The blistering heat has claimed another casualty: the Austin Pets Alive adoption clinics you see outside pet stores. Temperatures are too high for dogs to be hanging around outside on the sidewalk.

APA vans are also having trouble keeping cool in the heat, and organizers are looking for volunteer mechanics to fix them for free. (Update at 8:24 p.m. APA says it now needs donated vans or money to buy parts more than it needs mechanic volunteers.)

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Texas
4:11 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Texas Electricity Demand Forecast To Break Another Record

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

The state’s electric grid regulator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), is predicting another record breaking day of energy consumption.  

ERCOT predicts we'll use 67,084 megawatts of power today, blowing past the all-time record of 66,867 megawatts set just yesterday.

The high power demand has ERCOT pleading with people and businesses to reduce energy consumption at least until 7 p.m., and especially between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

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Austin
3:33 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

City Activates Heat Emergency Plan

This National Weather Service map shows the temperatures over Texas as of 3:30 p.m.
Photo by National Weather Service

With a heat advisory in effect until Friday night, the City of Austin is initiating Phase 1 of its heat emergency plan. Phase 1 involves monitoring “at-risk” people for signs of heat-related illness.

These are people the city defines as at-risk:

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