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ERCOT says it's not responsible for South Texas power outages, contradicting Bee County

ERCOT says reports that they ordered rolling brownouts in Bee County are inaccurate.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Multiple police departments reported power outages across the Coastal Bend on Wednesday, with one even stating that ERCOT ordered the rolling brownouts.

3NEWS reached out to ERCOT and learned that is not the case.

ERCOT responded to 3NEWS with the following statement: 

ERCOT has not requested any rotating outages in Texas. Any current or scheduled power outages are local in nature and handled by the local electric provider. ERCOT did request a voluntary conservation alert earlier today that runs through 9 p.m. tonight. Conservation tips can be found on the Public Utility Commission’s Power to Save Texas website.

ERCOT is not in emergency status. As a reminder, there are multiple levels from watch to EEA 1, EEA 2, and EEA 3. Rotating outages are a last resort. We have multiple tools that we would deploy ahead of EEA 3 to reliably manage the electric grid. 

Kenedy, San Patricio and Bee counties all took to social media Wednesday evening to report that they were experiencing the outages. Bee County's Office of Emergency Management even said that ERCOT asked American Electric Power Texas to conduct rolling brownouts in their area in order to prevent failure of the power grid.

ERCOT, however, said they are not driving the rolling brownouts in the area.

Bee County: We have been advised that ERCOT has requested AEP to conduct Rolling Brownouts. Currently the effected...

Posted by Bee OEM on Wednesday, July 13, 2022

ERCOT told 3NEWS they are working to clarify this with Bee County.

In the meantime, AEP Texas did report that crews are working to restore power to thousands of residents in Kenedy and Sinton, Texas. AEP Texas said these residents could hope to have their power restored by around 7:30 p.m.

Kenedy officials said if residents need a place to cool off, they are encouraged to go to City Hall.

3NEWS reached out to AEP Texas spokesperson Omar Lopez who said that just like a traffic jam, there was a lot of power moving through the power lines. He added that they were trying to avoid any damage and the result was a power outage.

"So we worked with ERCOT to relieve congestion on two transmission lines feeding Kennedy, Sinton and Pettus, so that interruption of power affected approximately 3100 customers," Lopez said. "We restored power to all of those customers within approximately 50 minutes."

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