Texas power grid was minutes away from ‘total collapse’

According to one report, the Texas power grid was “four minutes 37 seconds away from total collapse” during the recent historic winter storm – meaning the state could have been left in the dark.

The stunning revelation was made during an emergency meeting Wednesday of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, a cooperative responsible for 90 percent of the state’s population, KOU reported.

“It was a devastating event,” ERCOT CEO Bill Magness said in his opening statements at the board meeting. “Power is essential for civilization.”

Officials said ERCOT lost 48.6 percent of the power output during the height of the outage – and if the dip continues, the remaining generators will start tripping offline, causing a potential crash of the system, which is the so-called “black start” ” May need it . “

Madness doubled down on its claim that rolling outages were necessary to avoid such a blackout in Texas, which is the only state to operate its own stand-alone electricity grid.

“If we have a blackout of the system, the system is out for an indefinite period of time, and it is exceptionally difficult to bring it back,” he said. According to CBS Austin.

“We can still talk about when we let the system get into that state, the power is coming back,” Magnes said.

People wait in long lines at a grocery store in Austin, Texas on February 17, 2021.
People wait in long lines at a grocery store in Austin, Texas on February 17, 2021.
Montinique monroe / getty images

KUOU said that during the storm, 356 generators were knocked offline, which was nearly double that during the last major winter storm of 2011 in Texas.

ERCOT officials said on Wednesday that it had 13 units it contracted in the case of blackouts, but six of them experienced it last week.

During the meeting, officials discussed some of the measures taken to prepare for the weather, including the cancellation of the transmission maintenance outage, and the cancellation of COVID-19 restrictions to bring additional support personnel, among other measures.

He also said that an order from the Department of Energy allowed the power generator to defy certain environmental standards, which was very helpful.

On February 16, 2021, electric service trucks were parked after an icy storm in Fort Worth, Texas.
Electric service trucks came to a standstill after the icy storm on February 16, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Ron Jenkins / Getty Images

According to CBS Austin, ERCOT officials said natural gas plants failed the most during the crisis. Wind generators also had problems but were sometimes overformed.

“There were a lot of issues around the supply of gas during this incident,” Magness said. “I like to emphasize here that hurricanes affect every generation type.”

He said: “We regret that this incident took time to be resolved. What ERCOT intends to do today, what ERCOT wants to do at a legislative hearing tomorrow and go further and provide an explanation, not an excuse.”

On Tuesday, ERCOT announced in a notice to the Public Utility Commission of Texas that four of its board members would resign effective Wednesday.

A fifth member submitted his resignation separately and a sixth resignation was announced at Wednesday’s meeting.

Officials said that ERCOT lost 48.6 percent of power generation during the height of the outage.
Officials said ERCOT lost 48.6 percent of its power generation during the height of the outage.
Montinique monroe / getty images

Gov. Greg Abbott sent a statement saying he welcomed the resignation of the members, who all live out of state.

“The state of Texas will continue to investigate the ERCOT and uncover the full picture of what went wrong and we will ensure that the devastating events of the past week are not repeated,” Abbot’s statement reads.

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