Texas grid failed from weatherizing mistakes a decade old

People in Houston line up to fill their empty propane tanks

Ten years ago, plunging temperatures forced rolling blackouts across Texas, leaving more than 3 million people without power as the Super Bowl was played outside Dallas.

Now, with a near identical scenario following another Texas cold snap, Texas power regulators are being forced to answer how the unusually cold temperatures forced so much of the state’s power generation offline when Texans were trying to keep warm…

To start, experts say, power generators and regulators failed to heed the lessons of 2011 — or for that matter, 1989. In the aftermath of the Super Bowl Sunday blackout a decade ago, federal energy officials warned the grid manager, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas or ERCOT, that Texas power plants had failed to adequately weatherize facilities to protect against cold weather…

But the repeat of the events of a decade ago is raising questions in Austin as to whether the state has failed to ensure power companies are adequately protecting equipment from the elements. At the peak of the blackout, some 45,000 megawatts of generation capacity were offline, leaving more than 4 million Texans without power.

RTFA. Texas’ political hacks seem to be as incompetent, ignorant, as any other politicians that complain about. State, federal, regional, maybe on Mars. They copout on their responsibilities to Texans. Then, try to blame someone else, somewhere else.

10 thoughts on “Texas grid failed from weatherizing mistakes a decade old

  1. Reality ✓ says:

    The widespread electrical outages in Texas are a result of a deliberate choice – not a ‘mistake’. See 2013 ERCOT report http://www.ercot.com/content/committees/other/lts/keydocs/2013/BV_ERCOT_Gas_Study_Appendix_A.pdf also “Texas’ natural gas production just froze under pressure : Texas’ natural gas infrastructure was already vulnerable” https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/17/22287130/texas-natural-gas-production-power-outages-frozen
    Texas seceded from the nation’s power grid. Now it’s paying the price.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/02/17/texas-power-winter-storm/
    “…US Rep. Marc Veasey, a Democrat who represents parts of Fort Worth and Dallas, said he’s learned from an industry executive that the power grid was just minutes from failing on Monday before state agency officials initiated emergency rolling outages. https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/17/weather/texas-winter-storm-wednesday/index.html

    • p/s says:

      Freeze protection for natural pipeline systems and measurement instrumentation https://asgmt.com/wp-content/uploads/pdf-docs/2011/1/T06.pdf
      Freezing can occur not only when water in the gas stream mixes with temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but also with the presence of hydrates well above the freezing mark.
      Hydrates form when water vapor combines with hydrocarbons to produce a compound that will condense and freeze at temperatures above the freezing point of water.
      Areas where there will be a drop in pressure or restriction in flow are likely spots for freezing. Temperatures drop about 7°F for every 100 psi pressure reduction, so even if the flow stream of gas is at a temperature above freezing, that temperature could drop below freezing with a reduction in pressure.

    • Inconvenient Truth says:

      “Dallas County Judge Says Gov. Abbott ‘Consciously Chose’ Regulations That Led to Power Crisis” https://www.newsweek.com/dallas-county-judge-says-gov-abbott-consciously-chose-regulations-that-led-power-crisis-1570289 “In 2011, the Texas Legislature passed a bill, signed by Governor Perry, that required the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas to analyze “the ability of electric generators to respond to abnormal weather conditions,” which included making recommendations to improve emergency plans that would ensure continuity of electric service.
      However “the PUC, whose members are directly appointed by Governor Abbott, failed to require the weatherization measures in the bill. Winterizing natural gas power plants, wind turbines and other energy infrastructure can be done through upgrades that include insulating pipelines.

  2. Brassmonkey says:

    “Texas was “seconds and minutes” away from catastrophic monthslong blackouts, officials say : Officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said that grid operators implemented blackouts to avoid a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months.” https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/18/texas-power-outages-ercot/
    “Texas shows that when you cannot govern, you lie. A lot.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/02/17/texas-shows-that-when-you-cannot-govern-you-lie-lot/

  3. p/s says:

    Regards Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, along with other conservative state leaders and Fox News, falsely blaming the outages on renewable energy sources like wind and solar (which in fact comprise only a small fraction of the state’s energy):
    “While the sun never sets in Antarctica for one half of the year, it never rises for the other half. This means that, in order to function properly during the Antarctic winter, the Princess Elisabeth Station needed a second source of energy (in addition to photovoltaic and thermal solar panels) that would be available all winter long.
    The katabatic winds on the Antarctic continent provided the answer to that issue, as the wind gusts from the plateau are as fierce in the winter as they are in the summer.
    Along the ridge of the Princess Elisabeth Station are nine wind turbines, installed by the IPF crew to complement the solar installations.
    Each of the wind turbines is designed to withstand the most vicious storms on Earth. The blades of the wind turbines can close down in the event of a storm, thus reducing the rotating speed in order to prevent any damage from occurring to the wind turbine.”

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