Jan 05 2024 12:00 PM

Work Done During San Miguel Electric Cooperative, Inc.’s Fall Outage Will Help Power Texas Through the Colder Winter Months

Work Done During San Miguel Electric Cooperative, Inc.’s Fall Outage

Will Help Power Texas Through the Colder Winter Months

CHRISTINE, Texas [Jan. 4, 2024] – For those living in Texas, fall is a transitional period from the extreme temperatures of summer to much lower temperatures in the winter. For electric power producers, it’s the same. The San Miguel Electric Cooperative, Inc., (SMEC) for example, has prepared for the year ahead by instituting its Fall outage to ensure that its South Texas coal-fired plant is ready to meet the peak demand of the state’s colder months.

San Miguel conducted its Fall outage from Oct. 23 to Dec. 8, during which time it performed 46 days of essential maintenance on equipment that included generators, turbines, motors, tubes, heaters, crushers, jet pumps and other essential working parts of the plant. San Miguel uses lignite – a type of coal – from its nearby mine to produce 391 megawatts of affordable, reliable electricity for its nine member cooperatives to power more than 200,000 homes in 47 South Texas counties.

As part of its maintenance program, Texas coal-fired power plants plan twice-yearly outages, during which time critical repairs and upgrades are conducted. While San Miguel’s Spring outage used hundreds of contractors, the Fall outage was performed using primarily its own employees.

“We are very proud of our San Miguel Electric Cooperative team for working diligently to achieve the maintenance required during the Fall outage so that we can continue to safely and reliably deliver affordable power to our rural residents and businesses – just as we have been doing since 1982,” said Craig Courter, SMEC General Manager & CEO.

By conducting these outages, power plants can prevent unexpected failures and downtime, which can cause significant disruptions to the electric grid and, ultimately, the customers they serve. All outages are planned in concert with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers – representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. Along with natural gas, nuclear and renewables, coal is essential to powering Texas, which is now the second most populous state in the nation.

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About San Miguel Electric Cooperative, Inc.

San Miguel Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a member-owned mining and power generation cooperative that serves the people of Texas' rural communities, working and living in partnership with its members. Through integrity, hard work and a commitment to safety, San Miguel maintains a dependable power supply at the lowest possible and competitive cost. Visit San Miguel Electric Cooperative for more information.