ERCOT Says the Texas Grid Is Still Vulnerable to Blackouts This Winter
Will Texas see a repeat of what happened in February that left millions without electricity for several days? It's something Texas lawmakers said would never happen again, that ERCOT and the power grid in Texas would be fixed. According to a new analysis by ERCOT though, it's not good news.
According to reports, there have been better preparations by power plants in Texas as we head into the winter, but an ERCOT analysis says the system is still vulnerable to blackouts. ERCOT looked at five different extreme scenarios to consider the risk to the state's power supply. ERCOT estimated how much electricity Texans would expect to demand, and how much electricity power plants are expected to produce ahead of the winter season.
After the power outages in February, ERCOT changed assessments to calculate what would happen if we once again saw extreme weather conditions that occurred at the same time. The results weren't exactly comforting.
In four out of five extreme weather scenarios that ERCOT examined, the extreme conditions would leave the grid short of power, which could lead to power outages. ERCOT stressed that the scenarios have a low chance of occurring and during typical winter conditions there is sufficient power.
One piece of good news is that improvements have been made according to KXAN:
“As part of our comprehensive planning, we also reviewed a number of low-probability, high-impact scenarios,” said Chris Schein, a spokesperson for ERCOT, in a statement. “Generators across the state have made improvements in power plant weatherization.”
Regulators in October finalized a rule that requires power plants to use “best efforts” to ensure plants can operate this winter and requires them to fix “acute” issues from the February 2021 winter storm.
Let's hope that the improvements that have been made will help this winter season. This will be Lubbock's first winter on the ERCOT grid and we all remember what happened in February.
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