As temperatures plummeted, energy demand spiked just as some generators were knocked oine.
Real-time data varies, but more than half of ERCOT’s generation capacity comes from natural gas. Experts cited a natural gas shortage in February’s power outages.
GENERATION DURING THE STORM
2021 ERCOT grid power generating capacity 51% Natural gas 4.9% Nuclear
On Feb. 15 , the state lost 18% of generation from midnight to 4 a.m. and ultimately lost 35% of generation by midnight Feb. 17.
On Feb. 19 , ERCOT declared “normal operations” restored.
24.8% Wind 3.8% Solar
13.4% Coal 1.9% Other
10K 2 K 30K 4 K 50K 6 K 70K 8 K 0
• At 1:25 a.m. Feb. 15 , ERCOT began rotating outages from customers statewide. • As much as 16,500 megawatts were removed from the grid TRACKING THE OUTAGES Millions of Texans lost power during winter storms Feb. 15-18. due to forced outages. • 1 megawatt can power about 200 households during peak demand. • 4.3 million homes and • At least 1.42 million customers lost power in CenterPoint Energy’s service area. businesses were without power at 9 a.m. Feb. 16.
Feb. 15 12 p.m.
Feb. 16 12 p.m.
12 a.m .
Feb. 18 12 p.m.
energy providers. ERCOT CEO Bill Magness told lawmakers the council can only make recommendations for how plants should winterize. “They can decide to take up recom- mendations or not,” Magness said. Lawmakers pondered several ways to better enforce winterization, rang- ing from giving ERCOT the power to issue nes for violations to mandating a certain standard in state law, a solu- tion Magness said could carry a heavy expense. U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher—whose dis- trict includes a portion of Houston’s
Inner Loop and who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Com- mittee—was among several mem- bers of Congress to question Abbott’s response to the crisis, particularly decisions over the restoration of power and to what extent the state adopted recommendations after the 2011 storms aected the power grid. “It was pretty clear early on there are major issues that need a response from our government, state and even fed- eral government, but what’s essential is to gure out exactly what happened and why,” Fletcher said.
Several Harris County ocials oated but ultimately moved away from the possibility of leaving the state’s power grid. At a March 1 meet- ing, commissioners unanimously voted to have the county attorney par- ticipate in state conversations about improving ties with other power grids. Commissioners also voted 3-2 on a motion calling on the entire PUC board to resign and be replaced with “dedicated and experienced individu- als who can lead the agency out of the current state of failure. As lawmakers grasp for remedies,
Fletcher said it may take years to fully resolve, but its importance cannot be overstated. “This is a public safety issue. Peo- ple died in their homes. Keeping the power on when the temperatures are in single digits, that is our health and safety right there,” Fletcher said. Ben Thompson and Hunter Marrow contributed to this report.
For more information, visit communityimpact.com .
C E L E B R A T E W I T H U S
F R I DAY- S U N DAY • A P R I L 2 - 4
V I S I T S E CON D . O R G F O R S E RV I C E T I M E S
WO O DWAY C A M P U S • 6 4 0 0 WO O DWAY D R @ VO S S R D • 7 1 3 . 4 6 5 . 3 4 0 8
BELLAIRE MEYERLAND WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • MARCH 2021
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