REA Response

ERCOT's weather vulnerabilities highlight the need for more power capacity. Texas can generate more power and electricity from its existing abundance of fossil fuel resources that are reliable and affordable.

ERCOT issues report showing likelihood of outages this winter

ABC 13, Oct. 9, 2023

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Nearly three years ago, almost 250 people lost their lives when power was lost during a winter storm, and a new report shows the likelihood of more outages this winter.

Snow did more than cripple southeast Texas roadways back in February 2021. It caused power to be lost for days, which burst pipes, and sadly, took 246 lives, according to the state health and human services department.

With winter only a couple of months away, ABC13 recently asked ERCOT CEO Pablo Vegas about what it’s doing to make sure people don’t go for days without power.

“There’s a very low likelihood that could happen,” Vegas said. “We made some significant changes to ensure that it doesn’t.”

We learned about the likelihood in a new report. It shows that if a winter storm were to hit during the 8 a.m. hour in December, there’s nearly a 20% chance of an emergency and a 14% chance of a need for outages.

To prevent it from happening, the agency says weatherization changes have made a difference. Last year, the state started to require providers to weatherize or face fines.

RELATED: ERCOT looks to increase operating reserves to ensure there’s enough power for winter

ERCOT looks to increase operating reserves to ensure thereERCOT said it’s working to store up more non-renewable electricity so it will have extra power in the system in case energy usage spikes this winter.

They’re also finding providers that can guarantee power, even during a storm, and have it ready to go in an emergency. Also, officials say they’re doing something new.

“We’re also looking at our additional capacity reserves that we purchased for this winter, either the supply or the demand side,” Vegas explained. “If we think there’s a need for that, we’re going to purpose to do that.”

Those are investments the CEO said should make a difference, but can’t guarantee the lights will stay on.

“We’re doing everything that we have available to make sure that we deliver reliable energy for Texans regardless of whatever the season is,” Vegas said.

It’s a goal they have, but one they can’t reach yet, no matter the time of year.


Texas Power Grid Warns of Outages as Temperatures Rise

REA Response It’s clear Texas needs more reliable power to meet demands and weather-related challenges. We can increase dispatchable power and strengthen ERCOT, the state’s electricity grid, by supporting carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) and the hydrogen economy.  Texas Power Grid Warns of Outages as Temperatures Rise Newsweek, May

Read More »