2:40 pm 2/17/2021 UPDATE:
Oncor Outages are as follows per Judge Jenkins:
Total Generation is at 53500MW
Shed is at 9500MW
Lack Of Winterization Of Utilities Part Of Issue
Two hours ago Judge Jenkins shared,” As of now the Electric Reliability Council of Texas shed is 13,500 MW. The number of Oncor households currently without power in Dallas County is 194k.
In all of oncor it’s 670k out.
Power Outages By County
Judge Jenkins posted the following on social media today: Power generation is stubbornly staying at 47k Megawatts. It reached 50k yesterday but then declined. The problems stem from two main sources: A lack of winterization packages on generator plants and units and a lack of gas line modernization being required by state leadership.
Gas lines are regulated by the Railroad Commission of Texas. This is a three member commission elected statewide. Generators are regulated by Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), which is a board appointed by Office of the Governor Greg Abbott.
They, not the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), made the policy decision to not require the needed winterization and modernization standards required in the other 49 states.
In an effort to provide the lowest cost energy to large commercial users, they failed to ensure enough protection for residents in their homes. We need a system with the lowest prices that ensures reliability in completely predictable situations like this. It happened around the Super Bowl in 2011 and it will happen again. We know extreme weather happens here and we know weather patterns are getting worse due to climate change. The Governor has called for a review of ERCOT. That should be expanded to the PUC and the Railroad Commission.
ERCOT’s job is to manage the load. The railroad commission’s job is to require a safe, efficient and effective gas delivery system that doesn’t freeze on its way to the gas plants. Most offline gas plants during this crisis have been off because the gas lines going to their plants are frozen.
Some plants are tripping off when they try to start up due to lack of winterization. Wind units, which normally make up 25k Megawatts got down to 5k. PUCTX didn’t require the winter weather packages on any of these required in the other 49 states.
When regulators make a knowing decision to not require a safety apparatus, they are telling companies not to spend money on that apparatus because businesses won’t be reimbursed. It’s not reasonable to expect companies to do things that are not required and put them at a disadvantage to their competitors in the state’s scheme.