Texas and neighbors hit hard by a severe winter storm due to polar vortex conditions causing temperatures to plummet dangerously low. The States’ self contained electrical grid faces collapse as generators not properly winterized become frozen. A state of emergency is declared while residents and businesses are plunged into prolonged electricity blackouts. People being left to face the harsh winter conditions for days without electricity and for some it results in deadly consequences.
Wind turbines frozen and back up generation from natural gas hampered. The spot price of gas soars by thousands of percent in cost while the blame game and finger pointing reaches a fevered pitch.
“The problem is Texas’s overreliance on wind power that has left the grid more vulnerable to bad weather. Half of wind turbines froze last week, causing wind’s share of electricity to plunge to 8% from 42%. Power prices in the wholesale market spiked, and grid regulators on Friday warned of rolling blackouts. Natural gas and coal generators ramped up to cover the supply gap but couldn’t meet the surging demand for electricity—which half of households rely on for heating—even as many families powered up their gas furnaces. Then some gas wells and pipelines froze.”
The Political Making of a Texas Power Outage; How bad energy policy led to rolling blackouts in the freezing Lone Star State; WSJ Opinion, February 16, 2021
“ERCOT said the supply of natural gas to power plants is being limited and some wind turbines are frozen. So, keeping up with the amount of power being used across Texas is even more difficult.”
Rolling power blackouts turn into lengthy outages in Texas as energy demand reaches record high; Fox News February 15, 2021