This time our city has been spared the kind of massive power outage we’ve had before because of storms. Amazing, really, as we had ice before the big snow dump.
Miraculously, the gum and twine strategy that MLGW uses to repair and fortify our utilities held this time.
Texas was not so lucky. Approximately 4 million people are without power. When that happens, utility companies from around the country come to aid, leaving their own citizens vulnerable.
Why did this happen to a conservative state? The Blaze explains:
Millions are without power in Texas after a historic winter storm blasted the state over the weekend, creating freezing conditions that have made the roads dangerous and knocking out nearly half of Texas’ installed wind power generation.
Texas grid operators who spoke to the Austin American-Statesman said freezing rain and historically low temperatures caused wind turbines in West Texas to freeze to a halt, knocking out some 12,000 megawatts of energy production. Wind farms in Texas typically generate up to 25,100 megawatts of energy, almost half of which is currently out of production as the state works to thaw out the turbines.
According to the American-Statesman, wind power is the fastest-growing source of energy in Texas’ power grid. In 2013, Texas lawmakers approved a $7 billion plan to subsidize wind energy production. Wind farms now provide 23% of Texas energy and are the second-largest source of energy after natural gas.
Some of the lost wind power in West Texas has been offset by coastal wind farms to the east that are still operational and spinning faster, propelled by storm gusts. But the frozen turbines have contributed to rolling blackouts that have put more than 2.7 million people out of power Monday.
The Houston Office of Emergency Management told residents to prepare for power to remain out throughout Monday and Tuesday.
If that foolishness wasn’t enough, they also shut down coal fired power plants. The Houston Chronicle reported in January 2019:
“The Texas Municipal Power Agency, a group comprising the cities of Bryan, Garland, Denton and Greenville, owns the plant and notified the Electric Reliability Council of Texas that it will suspend operations of the 470-megawatt plant through at least the summer. The move follows the shutdown last year of three coal plants with a combined generation capacity of more than 4,000 megawatts — enough to power at least 800,000 Texas homes — by Vistra Energy of Irving.
“The loss of Gibbons Creek will cut the projected power reserve margin from the already record low of 8.1 percent to 7.4 percent, just over half of ERCOT’s reserve margin goal of 13.7 percent. The reserve margin measures additional power supplies available to meet unusually high demand, fill in for generators that break down unexpectedly, or both.
“The lower the power reserves, the higher the risks of shortages, price spikes and in worst case scenarios, disruptions to the power system in the form of blackouts and brown outs. DeAnn Walker, chairman of the Public Utility Commission, has called the shrinking power supply cushion ‘very scary.’”
Well they got their “very scary” scenario.
So in one of the richest in energy states, somewhere liberals persuaded the conservatives to use a “green” energy source. Of course, they never envisioned the very likely event that ice would stop the wind farms from working – just when energy was most needed. Stupidly, enough people listened – whether because of environmental pressure or money changing hands – that they allowed and encouraged it.
Is this what Biden meant by a “dark winter?”