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Amarillo hardware stores seeing high demand for generators due to Texas power concerns

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 5:50 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - With the rise in temperatures and ERCOT’s recent request to conserve energy, many Texans have started to think about backup plans in case of power outages.

Although most of the Texas Panhandle is not on the same power grid as the rest of Texas, residents are playing it safe. This has caused Amarillo hardware stores to see a high demand for generators.

“A lot of people have gotten nervous about their electricity capabilities,” said Trenton Maples, operations manager at Ace Hardware.

Stores like Ace Hardware and Scottco have seen an increase in generator sales of more than 100 percent. The demand has remained high since February, after the winter storm that caused rolling outages and left thousands without power in various parts of the state.

“They experienced an outage and don’t want to go through that again, or they had relatives down south who really got, you know, beat up over the storm,” said Maples.

“We’re separate from ERCOT,” said Wes Reeves, senior media relations representative for Xcel Energy. “We’re not part of that system.”

For many years now, most of the Texas Panhandle has been part of the Eastern Connection.

“It means that we have lines that connect our network to other utilities around the region,” said Reeves. “We can share power resources; We are a power sharing tool called the Southwest Power Pool. We move power back and forth on a daily basis.”

According to Reeves, the grid is currently in very good shape with a good energy reserve margin.

With demand skyrocketing, generator manufacturers are having a hard time keeping up with the supply, saying they are running six to eight months behind on production.

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