Texans were left in the cold and dark this February, following extreme cold weather that had the Texas competitive energy market unable to prevent deadly power failures. Leaving behind its historic commitment to power system independence and joining the larger U.S. grid can relieve some of the consequences of extreme weather events Texas is likely to see again, many energy analysts in and out of Texas said. To learn more, read “Texas must increase ties to the national grid and DER to avoid another power catastrophe, analysts say.”
- “We designed this system for Ozzie and Harriet weather and we now have Mad Max,” said Texas energy consultant Alison Silverstein.
- Some customers discovered variable bill plans can come with price spikes.
- Houston’s Lisa Khoury filed a $1 billion class-action suit against REP Griddy Energy over a $9,546 electricity bill.
- Other residential customers got $4,000, $5,000, and $7,000 bills.
- Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, Texas’ biggest co-op filed for bankruptcy.
- “The theory is that a high price will bring investments, but people don’t invest in things that might only make money sometime in the future unless they are required to,” said Jussi Heikkinen, North America Director of Growth and Development for global power plant developer Wärtsilä.
Path to 100% Perspective:
Texas does not have firm rules on power plant engineering for ambient temp ranges. Recommendations from ERCOT were published after the 2011 blackouts, but they are not mandatory, like they are in the eastern part of the country The Texas blackouts are an urgent indication that recommendations should be turned into common-sense regulation that leads to grid reliability and ratepayer protection.
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