Bundle Up, Central Texas! Do We Trust ERCOT to Fix Our Power Grid?
It's been almost a year since snowmageddon 2021, with our next cold front on the way.
The big question remains: is the Central Texas power grid prepared for another winter storm?
Our news partner KWTX is reporting that ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) says it is ready to handle any severe winter weather we may receive.
Report Released Today
In Texas, more than 4 million homes and businesses lost power at some point last February - some for hours and others for days.
ERCOT has released its final winter weatherization readiness report of the season with the Public Utility Commission of Texas.
It shows 321 out of 324 electric generation units and transmission facilities fully passed inspection for new winterization regulations from the PUC, according to KWTX.
“The Texas electric grid is more prepared for winter operations than ever before.”
- Interim ERCOT CEO Brad Jones
So Are We Good?
According to KXAN, progress has been made, but there is more work to be done.
ERCOT also identified 45 generators that asked for more time to conform to regulations, and expect those to be complete by the end of March, but did not identify any generators by name.
Energy analysts say gas supply isn't weatherized, and that could be one of the biggest issues the grid faces right now.
“So much of the focus of the activity in the 11 months since the outages has been on power plants, and so little on gas supply, it is entirely possible that all of the work done on the power plant side really is worth very little, because gas supply is not weatherized, and you can’t get gas to the plant.”
- Energy analyst Doug Lewin
Energywire, an energy and environmental news website, says there are several issues that could lead to additional blackouts if we have severe weather in Texas.
One of those involves coordination issues between natural gas and electricity sectors.
The best thing you can do is get ready for severe weather, and stay informed.
Cover pipes, bring pets inside, make sure you have basic emergency supplies, and stock up on non-perishable food and water.
You know anything can happen with the weather in Texas, so it's always good to have a plan.
To be on the safe side, make sure you keep those winter clothes in the closet just a little bit longer.