TEXAS, USA — Why could the Texas power grid fail again?
To answer that question, we have to explain what happened in the early hours of February 15, 2021.
As temperatures across the state dropped below freezing, Texans did anything they could to stay warm. Demand for electricity spiked as power plants across the state’s isolated grid shut down, suffering from frozen equipment and a lack of natural gas.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) told the state’s electricity utility companies to shut off power to customers. Despite those efforts to stabilize the grid, we came within minutes of a complete collapse which would have devastated the state for weeks.
Despite warnings years before, Texas had never required power plants or natural gas facilities to winterize. In the wake of the February freeze, new legislation was passed to fix that problem. But winterization requirements for natural gas facilities will not become law until likely March 2023, after a mapping system is completed of critical natural gas facilities
In February 2022, Texas was hit by another cold front. That storm was not nearly as cold or as long as last year’s freeze.