Austin, Texas - After the historically fatal winter storm that devastated the entire state of Texas in February 2021, energy experts and companies are not convinced that Texas is prepared for another deep freeze.
A recent report by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) seems to back up that claim.
According to the report, the legislation passed by the State required power plants to weatherize its facility but did not set strict deadlines. So the necessary changes may not be operational by the start of peak winter season when the grid is most vulnerable.
Also, the new Texas law does not apply to natural gas facilities, despite natural gas powering the majority of electricity in Texas. A federal report shows natural gas supply issues caused 27.3% of the outages during the winter storm.
Some power companies say the state’s gas system is not prepared another extreme winter storm. During the peak days of the storm, Vistra, Texas’ largest power generator, sent as much energy as it could to power the state’s failing grid. But it wasn’t enough.
The February freeze, known as Winter Storm Uri, knocked many power plants offline, nearing the grid towards complete collapse. Millions lost power for days in subfreezing temperatures and more than 200 people died.
Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil and Gas Association, said gas companies already weatherize to varying degrees and “are working with a sense of urgency” to get power companies access to larger amounts of stored gas ahead of a storm.