As Texas heads into its second winter since the catastrophic freeze of February 2021, the state’s grid operator and CPS Energy said Tuesday they are prepared for a major cold weather event.

It’s been almost two years since Texas faced the icy wrath of Winter Storm Uri, which left millions across the state without power for days and resulted in the death of hundreds of Texans.

In its quarterly Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy report, released Tuesday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said it expects there to be enough power to meet the forecast peak electricity demand of 67,398 megawatts this winter. ERCOT expects to have more than 87,000 megawatts available, the report said.

CPS Energy officials presented Tuesday to members of the City Council and to the CPS Energy board of trustees on its own winter preparations.

“We’ve addressed pretty much everything that we’ve identified, and we continue to look for improvements every year,” said Richard Medina, CPS Energy’s executive vice president of energy delivery services, speaking to the city’s Municipal Utilities committee Tuesday.

The utility’s power plants are “in a good position,” said Benny Ethridge, the utility’s executive vice president of energy supply, with “enhanced weather systems in place.” He added that the utility signed off on documentation it sent to ERCOT Monday stating CPS Energy has completed its winterization goals for this year.

Communication improvements have also been implemented, said Melissa Sorola, CPS Energy’s vice president of corporate communications and marketing.

This summer, the utility launched a new, color-coded conservation level program that aims to make it easy for residents to know when to conserve. It will carry this same program into the winter, Sorola said Tuesday.

All these new efforts are on top of earlier efforts implemented by the utility last winter, officials note, which included adding more circuits, assuring hospitals and critical infrastructure (such as SAWS pump stations and local warming centers) have backup generators, and adding smart switches to help CPS Energy better control its offloading.

“We’re running about a 28% reserve margin here in San Antonio to protect our customers, so we believe that we’re in a very good position,” Ethridge said. “Our facilities are ready to go, and we’ve we’ve got a reserve margin in place.”

CPS Energy is a financial supporter of the San Antonio Report. For a full list of business members, click here.

Avatar photo

Lindsey Carnett

Lindsey Carnett covers the environment, science and utilities for the San Antonio Report.