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Texas power grid operator asks customers to conserve power after six power plants go offline

The Texas electric grid operator asked residents to save electricity on Friday after six power plants went offline amid soaring temperatures.

Brad Jones, CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, said in a statement that the company lost about 2,900 megawatts of electricity, enough to power nearly 600,000 homes, the Texas Tribune reported.

Jones referenced the unusually warm weather for the season, saying it was driving demand for electricity across the state. Temperatures near 100 degrees were forecast from Austin to Dallas over the weekend and into next week.

Jones did not explain why the factories went offline, and a spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment Friday evening.

The executive asked customers to set their thermostats to 78 degrees and avoid using large appliances in the afternoon and early evening.

The nonprofit energy organization, which manages electricity for 90% of the Texas power grid, came under heavy criticism last year after blackouts left millions without power for days in sub-zero temperatures.

The company blamed frozen equipment in an event that left more than 200 people dead, many from 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 chairwoman and president, resigned.

State lawmakers responded with a series of laws aimed at making the network more resilient to a brutal winter storm.

Nearly a year later, an investigation by NBC News and the Texas Tribune found the network remained vulnerable as new regulations allowed companies to avoid upgrades.

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