Roundup of News and Commentary on the Texas Rolling Blackouts

Michael Giberson

A collection of news and commentary on the February 2 rolling blackouts on the ERCOT grid in Texas.

Not a complete list of stories by any means, but plenty food for thought. Some of the above will likely be discussed further on this site.

Also, the ERCOT grid has set another winter record, reaching 57,282 MW on Thursday, February 10. ERCOT managed without rolling blackouts this time, offering support for my conjecture that ERCOT and the industry would not be caught unprepared for such a surge so soon after last week’s emergency.

Meanwhile, outside ERCOT, El Paso is still suffering repercussions from problems caused in part by the blackouts imposed by El Paso Electric Company last week, after two of the company’s generators failed. Because El Paso Electric remains a traditionally regulated public utility, the failures there stand as a challenge to anyone trying to pin the blame for ERCOT’s less-regulated, more-competitive market structure. Because El Paso Electric is interconnected to other utilities throughout the western United States, the failures there also stand as a challenge to anyone trying to pin the blame on ERCOT’s policy of electrical isolation from surrounding power systems.*

(*This second “anyone” implicates me. See my “Cold snap brings rolling power outages to Texas; is ERCOT policy of isolation at fault?“)