Power Prices Skyrocket and Texas Grid Reels with Outages As Winter Storm Pummels Wind and Natural Gas
image credit: ERCOT
- Feb 16, 2021 11:14 am GMTFeb 16, 2021 3:09 am GMT
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Fierce winds, sleet, and snow lashed Texas and power grid outages rippled across the state as it experienced its worst winter storm in decades. Customers for the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) switched on their heating, spiking power demand and prices. Utilities instituted rotating outages to dramatically reduce their share of power usage in the state’s power grid.
According to reports, nearly half of Texas’s wind capacity went offline due to ice coatings on turbine blades and natural gas production and supplies were hampered due to the storm. At 10 AM on Monday morning, when the storm was still raging outside, almost 30 GW of ERCOT capacity went offline. Out of that figure, approximately 26 GW of mostly natural gas capacity was down and the remaining 4 GW of wind energy capacity was down due to icing on wind turbines. In addition to transportation bottlenecks caused to the ice, natural gas production in Texas and Mid-Continent declined due to well freeze-offs.