Abbott calls for ERCOT leaders to resign— energy experts weigh in on Texas energy crisis

1 month 3 weeks 2 days ago Wednesday, February 17 2021 Feb 17, 2021 February 17, 2021 10:47 PM February 17, 2021 in News - Local

Blackouts during severe winter weather is uncommon, but not a new concept for Texas. In 2011, the state plunged into frigid temperatures and left many in the dark. 

According to AEP Texas, as of Wednesday night, there are more than 200,000 customer outages. 

In a news release, the Electric Reliability council of Texas (ERCOT) said that since Wednesday morning, they have been able to restore approximately 8,000 MW, which is about 1.6 million households. ERCOT said there was sufficient generation available to begin restoring 1,000 MW every hour, by Wednesday afternoon.

On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott said ERCOT should be investigated for how they handled the winter weather. Abbott said the leadership at the state energy regulator should resign. 

But the Texas Senate and the Federal Government did their own investigations in 2011. Some experts say there weren't many changes after the power blackouts in 2011 —and now many are suffering the consequences. 

Energy Analyst Adrian Calcaneo said lessons can be learned from this event.

Some energy experts say the solution would be to upgrade power plants to withstand the power demands and the possible conditions during the winter months. 

READ ALSO: ERCOT provides update on winter weather event

The 2011 study by the federal government gave several recommendations for power plants in Texas to prepare with back-up generators. Experts say the problem is the lack of state laws obligating power generators to weatherize their infrastructure for the extreme winter conditions. 

Calcanceo says there could be some added cost to consumers in the future, meaning your light bill could go up, but many customers would prefer not to be under prolonged blackouts.  

READ ALSO: Power outages set to continue— ERCOT says without them a blackout could last for months

Abbott said ERCOT knew about the impending extreme winter weather, and that they weren't prepared. 

The state regulator said the electrical infrastructure in Texas doesn't have the capacity to avoid blackouts during these conditions. 

In the end, when power service will be restored across the state is still unknown. 

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