If forecasts hold, Texas’ power grid will be put to its first major test of the year.
In December, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) claimed the power grid was “more reliable than ever,” saying 97% of companies had submitted readiness reports at the time.
According to WFAAERCOT Acting CEO Brad Jones reiterated the grid operator’s claims while in Dallas for an energy forum last week:
We are very ready. We have spent the last 12 months ensuring that all generators are ready to go. They upgraded their weather protection, made sure they had more insulation on their gear, and we went to inspect them to make sure they did.
With the network about to undergo its first major test since last year’s disastrous winter storm that killed at least 246 Texans, the winter weather ahead is unlikely to be an exact repeat of the storm last year.
The temperature is not expected to be as cold as 2021, and the period of cold temperatures will not last as long as last year. And unlike the winter storm of 2021, the entire state will not experience sub-zero temperatures.
Last November, ERCOT looked at five extreme weather scenarios, with four of the five leaving the grid short of power. The good news is that each of the scenarios is extremely rare with very little chance of occurring.
Let’s hope they’re right.