Texas crisis helps the case of virtual power plants
- Feb 22, 2021 7:21 pm GMT
My home state of Texas went through it this week. Cities as large as San Antonio and Houston had massive blackouts in temperatures that remained well-below freezing for nearly an entire week. To add salt to the wide-open wound, when the power came back, large swaths of cities, such as my home base of Austin, were left without running water.
Now that power is mostly restored, investigations will begin into what happened. News reports show that the historic winter storm harmed much of Texas's energy production, mostly natural gas, though wind and solar took hits as well. Demand for energy (heaters) during the storm surged and the state's grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) told all utilities to take as many people off the power grid as possible in order to shed enough load to keep the entire state power system from failing. It's shocking to think that so many people left in the cold, many freezing to death, was the result of a conscious human decision made because the alternative would be so much worse.
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