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Thu May 27, 2021, 07:12 PM

The Texas Grid Came Close to an Even Bigger Disaster During February Freeze

Source: The Wall Street Journal.

U.S.

The Texas Grid Came Close to an Even Bigger Disaster During February Freeze

Many ‘black start’ units, which are used to jolt failed electricity systems, weren’t working

By Rebecca Smith
May 27, 2021 10:25 am ET

The Texas electric grid came within five minutes of a complete collapse in mid-February. The problem could have been much worse. A little-known network designed to jolt the grid back to life wasn’t working properly.

Texas grid operators, like their counterparts all over the country, rely on standby generators called “black starts.” Their job is to rescue the grid by supplying electricity to power plants so they can restart after a grid failure—roughly akin to jump-starting a car with a dead battery.

When a freak winter storm hit Texas, nine of the 13 primary generators designed to get a downed system going again were, at times, out of commission, according to grid operators. And six of 15 secondary generators—the fail-safe for the fail-safe—had periodic trouble as well, including freeze damage and problems getting fuel. Those problems haven’t previously been reported.

If grid operators had completely lost control of the situation—they didn’t, although they came close—the spotty performance of the black start units could have left Texans without power for much longer than a few days. How long is impossible to say, though by the grid operators’ own estimate, a total collapse could have caused weeks or even months of outages.

Pat Wood III, former head of the Public Utility Commission of Texas and former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, said the poor performance of black starts in Texas stunned him. Were there an uncontrolled grid collapse, whether from extreme weather, a cyberattack, or some other cause, Mr. Wood said, they are “what keeps us from going back to the Stone Age.”

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Read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-electrical-grid-bigger-disaster-february-freeze-black-starts-11622124896



https://twitter.com/SmithRebecca

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Reply The Texas Grid Came Close to an Even Bigger Disaster During February Freeze (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves May 2021 OP
GB_RN May 2021 #1
cstanleytech May 2021 #3
GB_RN May 2021 #4
oldsoftie May 2021 #2
area51 May 2021 #5
plimsoll May 2021 #7
Lonestarblue May 2021 #6
LudwigPastorius May 2021 #8
Aussie105 May 2021 #9
not fooled May 2021 #10
czarjak May 2021 #11
Grins May 2021 #12

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 07:17 PM

1. Tell Me Again

How deregulation and self-regulation works “for the good”?

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Response to GB_RN (Reply #1)

Thu May 27, 2021, 07:52 PM

3. "for the good" They actually do work good............for the ultra wealthy.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #3)

Thu May 27, 2021, 08:04 PM

4. Oh, Yeah.

Duh! Forgot. 🤦‍♂️

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 07:17 PM

2. While Texas is especially inept, the WHOLE grid is weak

We've ignored it for far too long
THIS is infrastructure that needs hardening

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 08:27 PM

5. A paywalled article from the

Dallas News website said that the power companies which ripped off Texans, refused to winterize their equipment, will be expecting Texans to pay for their mistakes. The article said that a child not yet born could be paying this fee through their power bill, through adulthood. Thanks Abbott & TX lege.

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Response to area51 (Reply #5)

Thu May 27, 2021, 09:32 PM

7. Can I assume that it will also be reflected in say, hotel prices?

Bonus another reason not to visit Texas.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 08:43 PM

6. Free market, deregulation and no standards, profit over people--what could go worng!

Meanwhile, people here are still recovering from the damage, and it will take many more months. I was lucky and had no power outages, though I had a lot of tree damage and dead plants. Several friends lost power for most of four days, and at least one of them has a house that has to have bathrooms and kitchen rebuilt because of burst water pipes. It’s now almost June and nothing has been done to fix the house because of the backlog with insurance companies and contractors. So people should live in severely damaged homes for months so the energy companies can make more profits and pay executives big bo uses for not doing their jobs. I’m beyond disgusted with Texas politics—and a governor who was delighted to sign a bill allowing anyone and everyone to carry a gun with no background checks and no restraints or training in how to use it. Republican land is looking more and more like being institutionalized in an insane asylum.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 11:21 PM

8. I don't understand why these No Regulations/No Government motherfuckers just don't...


move to Somalia?

Seems like it would be a Republican/Libertarian dreamland.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 11:26 PM

9. Must be nice to live in a well run state like Texas.

Real nice.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 01:50 PM

10. And R texans have probably already forgotten...

abbott and the rest of the pukes running things know that most people have short memories and won't figure out that deregulation and going it alone caused this mess.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 02:21 PM

11. So proud Lubbock is now part of Ercot after the February Fiasco.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 03:27 PM

12. So. Still thinking of moving your business to Texas...? NM

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