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posted by mrpg on Wednesday June 16 2021, @10:20AM   Printer-friendly

'Unplanned' outages hit Texas power plants in soaring temperatures

Officials with Texas' power grid operator pleaded with residents Monday to limit their electrical usage amid soaring temperatures and a series of mechanical problems at power plants.

The appeal, from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, comes four months after deadly blackouts during a winter storm left millions of people without power — and weeks after state legislators passed a package of measures aimed at fixing some of the problems exposed by the storm.

Officials with the nonprofit group, which oversees 90 percent of Texas' energy production, asked residents to set their thermostats higher, turn off lights and avoid using larger appliances until Friday.

A spokeswoman for the group told reporters that the outages accounted for more than 12,000 megawatts, enough to power 2.4 million homes. Some areas of the state, including Dallas and Tarrant counties, were warned about poor air quality and potentially dangerous heat, with the heat index approaching 110 degrees.

A senior official with ERCOT, Warren Lasher, said it wasn't clear why there were so many unplanned outages. But he said that the group is "deeply concerned" about the plants that are offline and that a thorough investigation is being conducted to better understand the problems.


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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by c0lo on Wednesday June 16 2021, @11:32AM (13 children)

    by c0lo (156) on Wednesday June 16 2021, @11:32AM (#1145849) Journal

    A senior official with ERCOT, Warren Lasher, said it wasn't clear why there were so many unplanned outages

    Boy, those Texans are slow.
    Enron. California. 2000.

    The outages this winter proved very profitable [reuters.com]

    The deep freeze caught Texas's utilities off-guard, killed more than 100 people and left 4.5 million without power. Demand for heat pushed wholesale power costs to 400 times the usual amount and propelled natural gas prices to record highs, forcing utilities and consumers to pay exorbitant bills.
    ...
    The biggest winners were companies with access to supplies, including leading energy trader Vitol, gas suppliers Kinder Morgan (KMI.N), Enterprise Products Partners (EPD.N) and Energy Transfer (ET.N), oil giant BP plc (BP.L), and banks Goldman Sachs (GS.N), Bank of America (BofA) (BAC.N) and Macquarie Group (MQG.AX).

    The firms combined stand to reap billions of dollars in profits by selling gas and power during the storm, according to interviews and reviews of public documents.

    Why do you hate capitalism?

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    Starting Score:    1  point
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday June 16 2021, @01:43PM (11 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday June 16 2021, @01:43PM (#1145887) Journal

    Careful there. Capitalism is on trial. 50 years ago, Capitalism was a citizen with a stellar reputation. Much, much better than ... than ... Communism! The boomers might wonder if you're a Commie, with talk like that.

    But now? #exxonknew. And Capitalism has evil relatives with which we're all better acquainted now, named Monopolism and Fascism.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Wednesday June 16 2021, @01:49PM (4 children)

      by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday June 16 2021, @01:49PM (#1145891) Journal

      It's not "Capitalism".

      It's "Capitalism run amok".

      Texas got all the deregulation it wanted, along with the consequent results. Last winter. And now. And it's profitable! So everything working as intended.

      --
      NSA does only TARGETED surveillance. It's just that they target everyone.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mcgrew on Wednesday June 16 2021, @03:16PM (3 children)

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Wednesday June 16 2021, @03:16PM (#1145936) Homepage Journal

      There are two capitalisms: capitalism as a social tool, or as a religion. Capitalism is a useful tool, but an incredibly dangerous religion.

      --
      mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16 2021, @04:32PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16 2021, @04:32PM (#1145984)

        Nature abhors any social philosophy taken as a religion, yes.

        • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Wednesday June 16 2021, @07:07PM

          by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday June 16 2021, @07:07PM (#1146067) Journal

          Funny how societies crumble and the religion remains.

          --
          La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 17 2021, @12:06AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 17 2021, @12:06AM (#1146212)

        'Dangerous' and 'religion' seem historic friends. (The words crusade and holocaust come to mind, but no doubt, that is a vey limited view of the world.)

        Being convinced that something is true because of belief does not make it bad/wrong/silly.
        Belief has helped bring humanity far.

        But is does make it an opportunity for exploit for one wishing to further some cause.

    • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday June 16 2021, @04:23PM (1 child)

      by Tork (3914) on Wednesday June 16 2021, @04:23PM (#1145976)

      50 years ago, Capitalism was a citizen with a stellar reputation.

      Take a moment to think about how you heard that. ;)

      --
      🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday June 17 2021, @10:25AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 17 2021, @10:25AM (#1146412) Homepage Journal

        Agreed. Think "banana republic". Even before the oil wars, we did a lot of shameful crap in the name of profit.

        --
        Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday June 16 2021, @04:23PM

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday June 16 2021, @04:23PM (#1145975) Journal

    Any sufficiently libertarian power grid will eventually reimplement Enron.