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Peter Kelly-Detwiler's picture
Principal, NorthBridge Energy Partners, LLC

Peter Kelly-Detwiler has nearly 30 years of experience in the area of electric energy, retail power, and distributed energy assets. Mr. Kelly-Detwiler provides strategic expertise in the areas of...

  • Member since 2015
  • 126 items added with 42,980 views
  • Feb 16, 2021

1) Temps plummeted & wholesale prices hit $9,000/MWh as ERCOT system struggled, leaving millions w/o power. All types of assets failed, including wind, gas, coal, & perhaps nukes 

2) Australian developer secures 30-year lease for 1.2 GW battery in New South Wales, but it's competing w/govt's planned 1 GW gas facility

3) UK awards 8 GW offshore wind to RWE, BP, EnBW, Total, Grupo COBRA 7 Flotation Energy

4) Massachusetts drafting RFP for up to 1,600 MW offshore wind 

5) Vestus introduces 15.0 MW offshore turbine 

6) GE scores $6.7 million DOE award for research, design, & manufacture 3D-printed wind blades

7) Australian rooftop solar up 18% in 2020, w/334,000 installs & 2.6 GW

8) US ITC votes to ban electric battery supplier SK Innovation from the US. Bad news for Ford and VW  

9) Shell confirms its peak oil production happened in 2019



Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Feb 16, 2021

The TX issues is the story of the week, no doubt, and I agree with you that the post mortums will be what we need to watch. I noticed in the text preceding your video you mentioned that nukes might have been affected from the cold snap-- but I hadn't actually heard that elsewhere yet. Do you have more information you can share?

Thanks, as always, Peter!

Peter Kelly-Detwiler's picture
Peter Kelly-Detwiler on Feb 17, 2021

Yes - 1,350 MW. On Monday Feb. 15, 2021, at 0537, an automatic reactor trip occurred at South Texas Project in Unit 1. The trip came about from a loss of feedwater caused by a loss of feedwater attributed to a cold weather-related failure of pressure sensing lines to the feedwater pumps. That created a false signal so the feedwater pump tripped in the non-nuke part of the unit. I just check NRC site (2/18/21 at 1:00 Eastern) and it still shows unit at 0%, though info may not have yet been updated.   Here's a link to some more info.


Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Feb 17, 2021

Thanks for the follow up, Peter. Seems like this wild winter storm was somewhat of an equal opportunity disruptor across the generation sector!

Any insights on what the path forward should be as Texas leaders look to make sure this doesn't happen again in the future? 

Peter Kelly-Detwiler's picture
Peter Kelly-Detwiler on Feb 18, 2021

A place to start would be the after-action report from PJM after the 2017/18 cold snap, reflecting on what they learned form 2014. Then, a look at the NERC/FERC report looking at Texas outage in winter of 2011 is useful (quite large, at one point over 29 GWs out of action)

There was nothing we should've been surprised by here. If you want to adopt a hands-off approach without pricing potential externalities into the system, you are gonna get externalities sooner or later.  The key take-away: we need to winterize/harden our infrastructure.

We also need to look harder at cyber and physical security.  Its almost give someday in the future we are going to be looking at some new catastrophe and say "We should have seen this coming." Here's a page I recent drafted on grid resilience for Wesley Clarke's group on those topics (they improved my initial draft greatly)


Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Feb 18, 2021

Thanks for the insights, Peter!

Peter Kelly-Detwiler's picture
Thank Peter for the Post!
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