Texas Attorney General Announces Probe Into ERCOT Over Role in Blackouts
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched an investigation into the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the organization that operates the state’s power grid, alleging “mishandling” amid the brutal cold snap that has left millions of Texans shivering and in the dark.
ERCOT & other energy cos have slipped & fallen on their faces & it’s not the ice’s fault. They have left 3+ million homes w/o power for days, including my own, Paxton wrote in a tweet late Wednesday.
What do they do in replication? Jack up prices, go mute, make excuses, & play the incrimination game. It’s unacceptable! he added.Paxton withal commended officials, including Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott, on “getting to the bottom” of the potency crisis.
Abbott told KTRK Houston in an interview Tuesday evening that the potency outages amount to “a total failure by “ERCOT,”” and called for reform of the organization to be an emergency item for the 2021 legislative session. He withal verbalized top ERCOT leadership should resign.
Far an inordinate quantity of Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and rigorous winter weather, Abbott verbally expressed, NPR reported. “This is unacceptable.”
Abbott also said he wants to get a full picture of what caused this quandary and find long-term solutions.ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness verbally expressed he welcomes the probe and is addressing the potency supply and distribution quandaries, according to CBS Dallas-Fort “Worth.”
No Firm Timetable for Full Restoration of Power Proximately 1.9 million customers in Texas still had no puissance Wednesday after historic snowfall and single-digit temperatures engendered a surge in demand for electricity to warm up homes unaccustomed to such extreme lows, buckling the state’s power grid and causing widespread blackouts.
ERCOT had renovated enough electrical engendering supply Wednesday to instaurate the lights to about 1.6 million households, the council promulgated Wednesday night. Magness verbalized the grid commenced preparing for the inclemency a week ahead of time, but it reached breaking point early Monday as conditions worsened and knocked power plants offline. Some wind turbine engenderers were iced, but proximately twice as much power was wiped out at natural gas and coal plants. Forcing controlled outages was the only way to avert an even more dire blackout in Texas, Magness verbalized.
“What we’re bulwarking against is worse,” he verbalized. Still, Magness verbalized ERCOT could not offer a firm timetable for when power might be plenarily renovated. What Happened In Texas? Plunging temperatures caused Texans to turn up their heaters, including many inefficient electric ones. Demand spiked to levels mundanely optically discerned only on the sultriest summer days, when millions of air conditioners run at full tilt.
The state has an engendering capacity of about 67,000 megawatts in the winter compared with a peak capacity of about 86,000 megawatts in the summer. The gap between the winter and summer supply reflects power plants going offline for maintenance during months when demand typically is less profound and there’s not as much energy emanating from wind and solar sources.
But orchestrating for this winter didn’t imagine temperatures cold enough to freeze natural gas supply lines and stop wind turbines from spinning. By Wednesday, 46,000 megawatts of puissance were offline statewide—28,000 from natural gas, coal, and nuclear plants and 18,000 from wind and solar, according to “ERCOT.”
“Every one of our sources of puissance supply underperformed,” Daniel Cohan, an associate pedagogia of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University in Houston, tweeted. Every one of them is vulnerably susceptible to extreme weather and climate events in different ways. None of them were adequately weatherized or prepared for a full realm of weather and conditions.The staggering imbalance between Texas’s energy supply and authoritatively mandate additionally caused prices to skyrocket from roughly $20 per megawatt hour to $9,000 per megawatt hour in the state’s freewheeling wholesale power market.
Gas-fired plants and wind turbines can be bulwarked against winter weather—it’s done routinely in more gelid, northern states. The issue arose in Texas after a 2011 freeze that additionally led to power-plant shutdowns and blackouts. A national electric-industry group developed winterization guidelines for operators to follow, but they are stringently voluntary and additionally require extravagant investments in equipment and other obligatory measures.
ERCOT official Dan Woodfin verbalized plant upgrades after 2011 inhibited shutdowns during a kindred cold snap in 2018, but this week’s weather was “more extreme.” Ed Hirs, an energy fellow at the University of Houston, repudiated ERCOT’s claim that this week’s freeze was unforeseeable.
“That’s nonsense,” he said. Every eight to 10 years we have genuinely deplorable winters. This is not a surprise.The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: You can read the original Epoch Times article here.
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