NewsTexas expects a cold front: electricity suppliers are already...

Texas expects a cold front: electricity suppliers are already struggling with outages

Texas is expecting low temperatures again for the coming weekend. Will the power grid of the operator ERCOT withstand this year?

Austin – In February 2021, the Texas power grid collapsed due to extreme winter weather. According to the Handelsblatt, the temperatures in Austin were minus 19 degrees Celsius – in a period in which eight to twelve degrees Celsius are normal. As a result, 4.5 million households and companies had to endure without electricity for days. More than 240 Texans were killed.

With regard to a cold front, which should reach Texas on Friday morning (February 4th, 2022), there are growing concerns about renewed power outages. According to the Handelsblatt, the Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, had promised: “The lights will stay on this year.” But according to a tweet by the investigative KHOU TV reporter Jeremy Rogalski, the transmission system operator ERCOT was already struggling with problems on Wednesday evening. Accordingly, the dashboard that displays the network conditions failed. According to Rogalski, the ERCOT website, which displays new data on power outages every hour, was also unavailable.

Texas network operator is already struggling with failures

“We’re working on some issues that arose from an upgrade in November,” Rogalski quoted a spokesman as saying. However, ERCOT can fix the problem within hours.

The reason for the blackouts in winter is that the demand for electricity exceeds the available supply. According to newsweek.com, ERCOT anticipates the highest risk for this situation on Friday morning when the cold front hits Texas. The winter weather warning lasts until Sunday (February 6, 2022) and will last only about 48 hours – compared to 139 hours that the weather chaos in Texas lasted last year.

Texas has improved the power grid

According to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCTX), 99 percent of the state’s power plants have now been inspected to prevent renewed power outages. The Texas power grid and utility infrastructure now exceeds state standards for the winter months, newsweek.com quoted PUCTX Chairman Peter Lake as saying.

Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of ERCOT, is also confident. The network is more reliable than ever before. “We have a good feeling and we are ready for this storm. We will be prepared for it.” The operator is currently still confronted with the consequences of last winter: ERCOT has received several class action lawsuits due to the power outages and skyrocketing electricity prices.

However, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott corrected his promise on Tuesday (Feb. “But what we’re working on, what we’re striving for, what we’re preparing for is that the power will stay on across the state.”

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