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ERCOT President Welcomes Investigation Into Mass Power Outages In Texas

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Governor Greg Abbott is ordering an investigation into ERCOT, which oversees the state's electric grid, to determine what caused the mass power outage problem we're seeing across Texas.

ERCOT's President and CEO, Bill Magness, said he welcomes this and is addressing the current issues they're facing.

This comes as hundreds of thousands of North Texans are still without power.

For Wayne Switzer, it's day two without power.

"We've been out of power now for 30 hours - no heat and there's no estimate on when it is going to be restored," he said.

His apartment is now consistently hovering around 35 degrees.

"Really, DFW is not experienced for this weather," he said.

"What we saw this week is historic, unprecedented," Magness said.

During a conference call Tuesday, Feb. 16, ERCOT's Magness said the demand for power across the state has far exceeded the supply available.

While power has been restored to at least 400,000-plus households as of Tuesday, it's estimated between 2-3 million Texans are still without power.

"It appears that a lot of the generation that's gone offline today, that either tripped or had to come offline, has been primarily due to issues on the natural gas system you know... system large... from getting the gas from the frozen well heads through the pipes to the generators and to consumers," ERCOT Senior Director of System Outages Dan Woodfin said. "We are relying on the ability to get that supply and demand in balance by getting more generation on the system to meet the demand that will increase when we end the outages."

In order to avoid the entire grid becoming unstable, possibly leading to a total blackout, ERCOT has asked utility companies, like Oncor, to implement outages allowing them to decide which areas will be affected.

"When we have these outages they are primarily at residential and business areas," Oncor spokesperson Kerri Dunn said. "The main reason for that is that we have some areas that we can't drop, or decide not to drop, when we have these outages. Primarily critical facilities like a hospital."

Switzer said he isn't waiting around for the power to come on. He has looked for a hotel, but says almost all are fully booked.

"I thought it through and realized I have frequent flyer miles," he said. "I can really just go wherever."

He's headed to visit family out of state and hopes when he comes back, this will all be over.

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