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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: 2) by oumuamua on Wednesday June 16 2021, @01:33PM (10 children)

    by oumuamua (8401) on Wednesday June 16 2021, @01:33PM (#1145881)

    Gas and diesel generators. When your green energy grid has a high-demand backup of home generators it becomes very un-green.

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Thexalon on Wednesday June 16 2021, @01:53PM (2 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday June 16 2021, @01:53PM (#1145893)

    The idea that Texas has a "green" energy grid is ludicrous. They've been resisting "green" anything quite firmly for decades now.

    But I would recommend anybody with their own home in Texas start figuring out how to add in solar or wind generation to their homes, so they can power it when ERCOT bites the dust, as has happened twice in the last few months.

    Oh, and I assume that Cancun is awaiting Ted Cruz's arrival.

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16 2021, @04:10PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16 2021, @04:10PM (#1145967)

      You obviously forgot about T. Boone Pickens. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._Boone_Pickens [wikipedia.org]

      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday June 16 2021, @07:53PM

        by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday June 16 2021, @07:53PM (#1146085)

        I'm familiar with Pickens and his plan for renewable energy. I'm also well aware that the Texas state government, very much in the pockets of oil and gas barons, has zero interest in making it happen.

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
  • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday June 16 2021, @04:20PM

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday June 16 2021, @04:20PM (#1145973) Journal

    Gas and diesel generators.

    The gas plants are the ones going down, AGAIN!

    Thexalon is actually mistaken, Texas has a lost of wind power. Wind turbines that continues to work find during the cold snap. And those same turbines are continuing to work fine during the heat too.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by DannyB on Wednesday June 16 2021, @06:02PM (2 children)

    by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday June 16 2021, @06:02PM (#1146028) Journal

    It looks to me like Home Depot has lots of Green portable generators. [homedepot.com]

    All I had to do was search for Green Portable Generators.

    --
    NSA does only TARGETED surveillance. It's just that they target everyone.
    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday June 17 2021, @10:34AM (1 child)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 17 2021, @10:34AM (#1146414) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, I know I'm kinda color blind, but a couple of those greens look yellow to me.

      --
      Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday June 17 2021, @02:48PM

        by DannyB (5839) on Thursday June 17 2021, @02:48PM (#1146496) Journal

        They only need to look green to you, the user.

        Similarly, anyone can have a green vehicle without having to give up fossil fuel power.

        --
        NSA does only TARGETED surveillance. It's just that they target everyone.
  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday June 16 2021, @08:28PM

    by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Wednesday June 16 2021, @08:28PM (#1146101) Homepage
    Not at all. It's never been an issue to have the undesirable expensive (by whatever metric) thing as your fallback. Compare wired RAM and swap space. The point to maximise the use of the preferable one.
    --
    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Beryllium Sphere (r) on Wednesday June 16 2021, @09:03PM

    by Beryllium Sphere (r) (5062) on Wednesday June 16 2021, @09:03PM (#1146120)

    If Wikipedia is correct, Texas's power source breakdown is
    Coal (19.0%)
    Natural Gas (53.5%)
    Hydroelectric (0.3%)
    Wind (17.3%)
    Nuclear (8.6%)
    Biomass (0.3%)
    Solar (0.9%)
    Other (0.1%)

    That does not meet most definitions of "green", though natural gas does have advantages.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 17 2021, @03:11AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 17 2021, @03:11AM (#1146312)

    Not me, I'm not buying a generator. But I am buying stock in companies that make generators!

    Note to Texans: we have nice stable power up here near Niagara Falls.