Electric Reliability Council

A NODAL Operating Procedures notebook sits on the desk of Jim Yeager, reliability coordinator for the Transmission and Security Desk at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, on Nov. 23, 2010, in Austin.

Between winter electricity blackouts, a haphazard rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and the Texas government’s overall response to the pandemic over the last year, the theme of the current legislative session and the next election cycle ought to be easy.

Do the people running state government in Texas know what they’re doing?

Ross Ramsey is executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. This analysis originated at texastribune.com. Contact him at rramsey@texastribune.org.

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(4) entries

Bulldog

The biggest cause of the power outages has been due to inefficient green energy. Instead of giving green energy subsidies, they should have directed that money into upgrading our energy providers and pipelines

rwhowi

Baloney. Wind turbine and solar systems work with ease in Canada, Antarctica, the Scandinavian countries and even in the harsh environment of the North Sea. BUT, they are appropriately installed. Oil is a FINITE source of energy. Get used to the thought. Yes, we will always need petroleum products for pharmaceuticals, plastics, etc. BUT, as a ENERGY SOURCE, it's heading for the sunset. Stop listening to media; get educated. Become informed.

And, FYI, I have a PhD in chemistry / engineering with 45 plus years of experience in the energy world.

Father of Six

Well of course they work in cold weather up north, but not with ease. The wind turbines up north are outfitted with cold weather kits. Kind of like how we build stuff for the marine offshore industry differently than others. (and it cost a lot more) We don't use the kits here because they are very expensive and inhibit the cooling needed for hot summer months. Same reason heat exchangers on the ones up north couldn't handle West Texas temperatures. The homes we live in are built differently too. The bigger problem is storage of green energy, not production. By the way, what does being a chemist have to do with your knowledge of the electricity grid? Do you know why you don't have to ask pilots or people with PhD what they do? Because they'll tell you.

This too will pass.

pnewton

With a failure of this magnitude over something that was somewhat predictable, I have to agree with Governor Abbott that ERCOT proved the opposite of reliable. As to the cause and solutions, rather than rush to blame based on political posturing, time and analysis are more important than blame. Unfortunately, solutions usually cost something, and people in Texas will have a short memory once the weather warms. Talk of winterizing power production will fall by the wayside once consumers see it might cost a little bit more. At minimum though, I would hope that power distribution companies like Centerpoint will see the need to actually roll blackouts in a fair and equitable manner, and see to informing consumers what that method and time frame would be. The lack of information from Centerpoint has been as frustrating as the loss of power for me.

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