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Lights out: High demand prompts outages across most of Texas

February 2, 2011

The areas in blue represent the portion of Texas served by ERCOT.

Rolling 15-minute blackouts began early this morning through much of the Crossroads area as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas implemented outages statewide in response to high demand following an ice storm.

Oncor spokeswoman Jaeamy Molina said the structured outages began around 6 a.m. She told The Associated Press that the Dallas-based utility is complying with a power emergency declared by ERCOT, which operates the electric grid and manages the deregulated market for 75 percent of Texas.

According to Reuters news outlets, the blackouts were imposed due to the loss of several power plants overnight during a severe ice storm. Molina had no time frame for when the outages would end.

While Oncor officials have said the blackouts would take place in 15-minute intervals, a press release issued by ERCOT said the outages could last anywhere between 10 to 45 minutes.

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