Observations on winter electric reliability event in South Central U.S.
- Feb 17, 2021 7:25 pm GMT
By Michael Goggin and Rob Gramlich, Grid Strategies LLC
As multiple experts have documented, the vast majority of power plant capacity outages in Texas are at gas generators. ERCOT data show that around 30 GW of fossil capacity has been on outage. The first column of the ERCOT data shows thermal (fossil plus nuclear) capacity outages, while the second column shows the installed capacity of Intermittent Renewable Resource (IRR), or wind plus solar, that are on outage. Gas generators appear to have been affected by a combination of gas well freeze-offs cutting production, gas pipeline capacity being prioritized for building heating instead of electric power deliveries, and weather-related equipment failures. Well freeze-offs cut Texas gas supplies by 7 Bcf/day, nearly 1/3 of Texas’s gas production in 2019.
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