TX Power Grid Passes First Round Of Cold Weather So Far
COLD WEATHER / TEXAS - Recent cold temperatures across the Red River Radio listening area had people wondering if they were going to get a repeat of what happened last winter when snow and ice covered the area. And folks in Texas were likely worried about the state’s energy grid failing once again after it left millions cold and in the dark back in February 2021. But Michael Webber, energy expert at the University of Texas at Austin, said there were no power issues when temperatures dipped into the 20’s.
“That storm in February 2021, was just much worse, much colder for much longer across a much wider area of Texas," Webber explained. "What we dealt with the last few days was cold, but not that cold, not as long, and it kind of warms up during the day. So not really the same kind of strain on the system.”
Webber says that the real test for the energy grid will be when demand is high, and supplies are low – much as it was during the chilling storm last year. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. But ERCOT only controls the electrical system, not the natural gas system. It was the gas system, which is regulated by the Texas Railroad Commission, that primarily failed last year as delivery lines were frozen. While Texas Energy officials have held meetings in late 2021 and have issued assurances to the public that the power grid won’t fail this winter, there has been ample criticism that Texas energy regulators haven’t done enough to make sure that won’t happen.