More cold for Texas and a test of my conjecture on preparedness

Michael Giberson

Last week the sharply colder temperatures wreaked havoc on many power generators in Texas, leading to emergency conditions and rolling blackouts on the ERCOT power system. In my preliminary reaction to the developments, I said:

No doubt coal and gas-fueled generators across the state are reexamining their readiness for extreme coal weather. I suspect we could survive another severe storm as early as next week, should one come about.

Looks like we’re going to get a test of my conjecture. The forecast for Wednesday: sharply colder weather once again.

Tom Fowler at the Houston Chronicle has reported that ERCOT is taking extraordinary steps, including securing an extra 3,000 MW of reserve capacity to be available from Wednesday through Saturday (over the usual 2,300 MW minimum).

It isn’t the most sophisticated approach to dealing with the problem, but should suffice.

Stay tuned.

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