Confusion continues about who ordered power outages Wednesday evening in South Texas, and why.
On Thursday, neither American Electric Power Texas nor ERCOT would tell 3NEWS who ordered Wednesday's power outages in the communities of Kenedy, Sinton, and Pettus. That's important because AEP Texas said it was working with ERCOT, but ERCOT said it did not order any local outages -- only voluntary conservation.
3NEWS asked representatives from AEP Texas for clarification on Thursday because shutting the power off to 3,100 residents with heat indices in the triple digits isn't voluntary.
Ryan Garza is the Director of the Bee County Office of Emergency Management. He sent out a notice on Wednesday telling people that ERCOT had requested rolling brownouts in northern Bee County. That prompted fears that the state's power grid was in danger.
Even with the lights out in Sinton, Kenedy, and Pettus, ERCOT said it had asked for no such outages. Garza said someone from AEP Texas called him to say they were going to cut power to some homes to shed load from a transmission line.
"The way it was initially interpreted was that they were asked to shed load from the grid to help with some of the congestion," Garza said. "So, in my mind, requesting for you to share the load or to lower the congestion of traffic of power, to me that was interpreted as a brownout.”
An AEP Texas spokesperson said no one was authorized to make that call, and that AEP Texas was working with ERCOT to relieve congestion on two AEP Texas transmission lines so that they wouldn't damage the equipment.
Again, ERCOT said it did not order outages.
AEP Texas would neither deny nor confirm they ordered the outages, and would only point us back to their original statement.
Garza said for AEP Texas, it's just semantics.
"I mean, you were playing with words in my opinion," Garza said. "They were playing with words to fit, you know, a certain -- to target a certain message."
Now one thing to note here when looking at who ordered the outages -- these outages only impacted 3,100 people. The ERCOT grid serves 26 million people. It seems highly unlikely that taking 3,100 people off the grid would help the grid statewide. The only entity that move would seem to help is AEP Texas, whose local equipment was at risk.
More from 3News on KIIITV.com:
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