The operator of the Texas power grid asked residents to save electricity Friday after six power plants went offline in the midst of soaring temperatures.
Brad Jones, executive director of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, said in a statement that the company had lost about 2,900 megawatts of electricity – or enough to power nearly 600,000 homes, the Texas Tribune reported.
Jones referred to the unusually hot weather, saying it was driving demand for power across the state. Temperatures approaching 100 degrees were forecast from Austin to Dallas over the weekend and into next week.
Jones did not say why the plants went offline, and a spokesman did not respond to a request for comment Friday night.
The manager asked customers to set the thermostats at 78 degrees and avoid using large appliances in the afternoon and early evening.
The nonprofit, which manages 90 percent of Texas̵[ads1]7; power grid, faced fierce criticism last year after power outages left millions without power for several days below freezing.
The company blamed frozen equipment in an incident that killed more than 200 people, many of them carbon monoxide poisoning as they tried to stay warm. Others froze to death.
The company’s CEO was fired and six board members – including the chairman and chairman of the board – resigned.
The state legislators responded with a number of legislation that aimed to make the network more resistant to a brutal winter storm.
Nearly a year later, a study by NBC News and the Texas Tribune found that the web remained vulnerable, with new regulations allowing companies to avoid improvements.