Days Before Blackouts, One Texas Power Giant Sounded the Alarm

  
Via:  Just Jim NC TttH  •  one week ago  •  63 comments

By:   Naureen S. Malik and Rachel Adams-Heard (MSN)

Days Before Blackouts, One Texas Power Giant Sounded the Alarm
Vistra Corp., one of the largest power generators in Texas, said it warned state agencies days before cascading blackouts plunged millions into darkness that internal forecasts showed electricity demand was expected to exceed supply.

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(Bloomberg) -- Vistra Corp., one of the largest power generators in Texas, said it warned state agencies days before cascading blackouts plunged millions into darkness that internal forecasts showed electricity demand was expected to exceed supply.

© Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America HOUSTON, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 21: A view of high voltage transmission towers on February 21, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Millions of Texans lost power when winter storm Uri hit the state and knocked out coal, natural gas and nuclear plants that were unprepared for the freezing temperatures brought on by the storm. Wind turbines that provide an estimated 24 percent of energy to the state became inoperable when they froze. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Despite the warning, "the coordination and planning by authorities across the broader energy sector were seemingly disproportionate to the severity of the situation," Vistra said in an emailed statement late Sunday. The company didn't identify which state entities it contacted. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is the state's grid operator, while the Texas Public Utility Commission regulates power generators.

Ercot said in a statement its "operating notices incentived all available generation to serve customers" and didn't immediately comment on the Vistra letter. Andrew Barlow, an official with the PUC, said he wasn't privy to any correspondence between the agency and Vistra and referred the matter to Ercot.

"Days ahead of this event, Vistra and others forecasted insufficient generation would be available, and we began winter emergency preparations," the statement said. "The warning signs were there, but the public was unaware of the gravity of the situation, which led to people being unable to respond and make the necessary adjustments for their families."

Vistra shares rose 1.1% before the start of regular trading Monday in New York.

At its peak, more than 4 million Texans were without power over several days of unprecedented cold. Dozens have perished in the wake of what has now become known as the largest forced power outage in U.S. history. Even when electricity was restored as temperatures rose, millions remained without safe drinking water after power outages hit treatment plants and water pumps used to pressurize lines.

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.


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Just Jim NC TttH
Junior Guide
1  seeder  Just Jim NC TttH    one week ago

Warning sent, warning.........ummmmmmmmmmm

No Trump or his supporters.

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Participates
1.1  Hallux  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @1    one week ago

Morning Jim,

What's this about "No Trump or his supporters"?

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Junior Guide
1.1.1  seeder  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Hallux @1.1    one week ago

When in red it's red box rules meaning he and they are off topic.

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Participates
1.1.2  Hallux  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @1.1.1    one week ago

I see no reason as to why you should be off topic ... oops!

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2  Kavika     one week ago

I'm sure that the disaster that hit Texas will result in a lot of finger-pointing but little in the way of taking responsibility for the disaster.

Next thing you know the politicians will be tilting at windmills. Oh wait.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
2.1  Tessylo  replied to  Kavika @2    one week ago

A former adviser from the former administration is blaming President Biden.  

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
2.1.1  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Tessylo @2.1    one week ago

That person is a dumbass then.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
2.1.2  Tessylo  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @2.1.1    one week ago

Yes, he is

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
3  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)    one week ago

The consumers didn't believe they could be without power for so long. There's no history of issues like this; therefore, it was something they thought could never happen.

Moreover, there's a lot more to this than this article shows. People wonder why I'm leery of deregulation. 

From what I've read recently, there are variable rate utility rates and fixed rate utility rates; similar to mortgage rates, variable APRs are often confusing to the consumer. People sign up for the variable rates, assuming the rates will stay low. When they're not low, they can rise dramatically, because there's either not a cap on the rising amount, or there's an extremely high cap. There are people receiving electric bills [the few that still had power the whole time] that were in the $6000 range when normally, they were paying $100 / month this time of year. Those on a fixed rate plan, didn't experience these huge bill issues. No one wants to admit that they should've gone with a fixed rate. No one wants to admit that TX government screwed the pooch by not being prepared for the rare or occasional proverbial shit that hits the fan.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
3.1  Nerm_L  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @3    one week ago
The consumers didn't believe they could be without power for so long. There's no history of issues like this; therefore, it was something they thought could never happen.

But the same thing happened in 2011, too.  The 2021 blackout isn't unprecedented.

Moreover, there's a lot more to this than this article shows. People wonder why I'm leery of deregulation. 

Deregulation?  There was a shift away from coal generation and toward natural gas generation.  That shift meant power plants were directly competing with consumers for a share of the natural gas supply.  And the infrastructure to deliver natural gas depended upon the power plants remaining in operation.  When the electricity grid went down that took the natural gas grid with it.  The natural gas system couldn't get electricity and the electricity system couldn't get natural gas.  

Coal and nuclear generation accounts for a little more than one quarter of generation capacity in Texas.  That wasn't enough to keep the grid in operation.  Wind turbines can't operate in blizzard conditions; the wind speed is too high to allow safe operation.  And natural gas generation was an interconnected (and overly constrained) system that required everything to work because failure of one would cause failure of all.

The Clean Power Plan (and it's regulatory requirements) played a role in failure of the Texas grid, too.

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
3.1.1  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1    one week ago
But the same thing happened in 2011, too.  The 2021 blackout isn't unprecedented.

Once every decade doesn't make them believe that it will happen like it has this year. 

Wind turbines can't operate in blizzard conditions; the wind speed is too high to allow safe operation.

Then, how does it work in places like MN?

And natural gas generation was an interconnected (and overly constrained) system that required everything to work because failure of one would cause failure of all.

Then, they did something wrong. I know that when we don't have electricity, we still have natural gas; even when the huge blackout in Aug. 2003 occurred, we still had natural gas.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
3.1.2  Tessylo  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1    one week ago

DEREGULATION!

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
3.1.3  Split Personality  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1    one week ago
And the infrastructure to deliver natural gas depended upon the power plants remaining in operation.  When the electricity grid went down that took the natural gas grid with it.  The natural gas system couldn't get electricity and the electricity system couldn't get natural gas.

BS.  The natural gas froze, the pumps froze, the instruments froze.

The oil derricks froze whether they were pumping natural gas or crude.

The water cooling system on one nuclear reactor froze, taking it off line automatically.

Wind turbines can't operate in blizzard conditions; the wind speed is too high to allow safe operation.

Absolutely wrong. Our average wind speed during the blizzard was from a low of 5MPH to a high of 18MPH

Needless to say...the average turbine has a max speed of 134 mph, many are rated higher.

All wind turbines are designed for a maximum wind speed , called the survival speed , above which they will be damaged. The survival speed of commercial wind turbines is in the range of 40 m/s (144 km/h, 89 MPH ) to 72 m/s (259 km/h, 161 MPH ). The most common survival speed is 60 m/s (216 km/h, 134 MPH ).

A necessity in a state where the wind turbines would be expected to withstand tornado and hurricane strength winds annually.

Coal and nuclear generation accounts for a little more than one quarter of generation capacity in Texas.

Multiple coal plants failed, one reactor went off line as noted.

Wind and solar both exceeded expectations representing only 1% of the loss of generation.

In 2011 Bryan Energy lost both natural gas powered plants and their coal burning plant; they winterized

and survived this storm despite the fact that it was ten times worse than 2011 or 1989.

The key is spending the money to winterize to the same standards as the other 49 states

and eliminating the unregulated retail market.  Nothing to do with the Clean Power Plan.

Texas sued the Obama Administration for years and it was never implemented in Texas as the lawsuits wound their way through the courts until Trump demanded that the EPA repeal the law.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
3.1.4  evilgenius  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1    one week ago
Wind turbines can't operate in blizzard conditions; the wind speed is too high to allow safe operation.

The Tx turbines weren't shut down because of wind speeds. They where shut down because of the potential of ice glaze on the blades. This causes the turbine to run unbalanced. An unbalanced wind turbine will shake itself apart. I don't know how fast the storm windspeeds were, but a normal operating wind turbine should be able to work in sustained winds of 75 mph or less - and gusts of less than 100 mph. Scandinavia and Scotland fill their wind turbines with hot air while some turbines are made with a special coating on the blades that resist ice glaze. They cost more of course.

I see that now the Tx Governor is calling on the state legislator to require winterizing all its energy suppliers and to fund the upgrades. So the taxpayer's who got screwed in this outage are going to get screwed for the fix. The companies will get off scott free while the asshat governor tries to make himself look good.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
3.1.5  Tessylo  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @3.1.1    one week ago

I would take anything Nerm-L says with a grain of salt, or a whole mountain of salt actually.  

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
3.1.6  Nerm_L  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @3.1.1    one week ago
Then, how does it work in places like MN?

Our wind turbines are not operated in conditions with high wind speed or icing conditions.  And when the turbines are not operating they must draw electricity from the grid to avoid freezing up.  That's how it works.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
3.1.7  Split Personality  replied to  Tessylo @3.1.2    one week ago

Deregulation is a misnomer.  In fact, regulation by the PUC is minimum.  ERCOT is a non profit coordinating entity

owned by the PUC which answers to Abbott.  It is also accountable to the Legislature.

The Wholesale electric retail industry is roughly 220 middlemen that sell consumers electricity

at the current wholesale rate for a weekly or monthly participation rate.  The market is unregulated.

The market worked as planned.  People have been out there for ten years buying electric for 4cents and paying $9.99 a month.

When power was scarce they bid each other to ridiculous amounts up to 8000%

The PUC stepped in a capped it at $9.00 per kw hour, a 180% increase.

When this happened in California in 2001, they let everyone declare bankruptcy, then outlawed the retail market.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
3.1.8  Nerm_L  replied to  Split Personality @3.1.3    one week ago
Needless to say...the average turbine has a max speed of 134 mph, many are rated higher.

That's the structural limit and not the operating limit.  Turbines are designed to operate at steady wind speeds of up to 55 mph (depending upon the design, some designs have a lower limit).  But winds of that speed are typical not steady with gusts and lulls.  The overspeed protection system cannot react quickly enough under conditions of high variability in wind speed to protect the turbine.  The variability in wind speed limits operation.

Absolutely wrong. Our average wind speed during the blizzard was from a low of 5MPH to a high of 18MPH

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
3.1.9  evilgenius  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1.6    one week ago
Our wind turbines are not operated in conditions with high wind speed or icing conditions.  And when the turbines are not operating they must draw electricity from the grid to avoid freezing up.  That's how it works.

The wind turbines for Xcel Energy across ND and MN automatically shut down when temps reach -20. As soon as temps rise above that they come back on. During the 2019 polar vortex where we had sustained temps down that far there were wide spread outages on gas and coal plants as well as the wind farms. I can't find any articles on MN wind energy during winter storms. This leads me to believe they do just fine.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
3.1.10  Split Personality  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1.6    one week ago
And when the turbines are not operating they must draw electricity from the grid to avoid freezing up.  That's how it works.

Please, quit while you are behind.

Many, if not all, of the Texas wind turbines were built without the self heating or winterized upgrades because they are not required to by the state, ERCOT or the PUC.

Our wind turbines are not operated in conditions with high wind speed or icing conditions. 

They work just fine in Alaska and Antarctica, the North Sea...when they are designed to.

Why wind turbines thrive in Antarctica and places way colder than Texas

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
3.1.11  Split Personality  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1.8    one week ago

Well cancel my subscription to National Review...

"Probably not"?  "Most likely"?  Whole lot of guesswork in that article.

Meanwhile, by the time the temperatures in TX hit 30 on last Thursday, most of the turbines were back on line

trying to make do with 15 mph winds.....of those we see every day about 3% are always motionless for various reasons.

I had a high of 75 today and turned off the A/C when it kicked on around 3PM. Seemed like overkill.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
3.1.12  Nerm_L  replied to  Split Personality @3.1.10    one week ago
They work just fine in Alaska and Antarctica, the North Sea...when they are designed to.

Wind turbines work just fine in Texas, too.  That's why Texas leads the country in wind turbine generation.  Wind generation capacity in Texas could supply 60 pct of the state's electricity when conditions allow.  If Texas was a country it would rank fifth in generation capacity, behind Germany at fourth.  Texas operates more wind generation capacity than any country in Europe except Germany.

The power companies in Texas know how to operate wind turbines.  And when not to operate wind turbines.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
3.1.13  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1    one week ago
The Clean Power Plan (and it's regulatory requirements) played a role in failure of the Texas grid, too.

Yes, about 10% of the problem was alternative power. That leaves 90% of the blame elsewhere.

The problem is really quite simple. There are three power grids; the eastern, the western and Texas. If Texas was not so arrogant to go it alone, all of this could have been avoided.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
3.1.14  Nerm_L  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1.13    one week ago
The problem is really quite simple. There are three power grids; the eastern, the western and Texas. If Texas was not so arrogant to go it alone, all of this could have been avoided.

There were rolling blackouts from Texas to the Canadian border.  All the grids in the middle of the country were struggling. 

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
3.1.15  Split Personality  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1.12    one week ago
Wind turbines work just fine in Texas, too.  That's why Texas leads the country in wind turbine generation.  Wind generation capacity in Texas could supply 60 pct of the state's electricity when conditions allow.  If Texas was a country it would rank fifth in generation capacity, behind Germany at fourth.  Texas operates more wind generation capacity than any country in Europe except Germany. The power companies in Texas know how to operate wind turbines.  And when not to operate wind turbines.

OH hang it up Nerm.

First you say wind turbines aren't capable of working in  a blizzard, now when proved wrong by multiple people ,

you say they work fine in TX, after saying they dont function in windy icy conditions,

just spare us the BS.

Don't be a Google cowboy, come down to TX to see the reality.

The failure was systemic due to Republican ideas of free enterprise and lack of regulation of gas, coal and nuclear energy,

probably to be corrected ( I hope ) shortly.

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
3.1.16  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1.6    one week ago
Our wind turbines are not operated in conditions with high wind speed or icing conditions.

So, you're trying to tell me that in MN or IA, wind turbines don't freeze or they're not used all winter?

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
3.1.17  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1.14    one week ago

DTE didn't have issues nor rolling blackouts.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
3.1.18  Tessylo  replied to  Split Personality @3.1.7    one week ago
"Deregulation is a misnomer." "The failure was systemic due to Republican ideas of free enterprise and lack of regulation of gas, coal and nuclear energy, probably to be corrected ( I hope ) shortly."

So lack of regulation and de-regulation - means?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
3.1.19  Nerm_L  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @3.1.16    one week ago
So, you're trying to tell me that in MN or IA, wind turbines don't freeze or they're not used all winter?

The local wind turbines are not operated in all weather.  

While I haven't been blaming wind turbines for what happened in Texas, the response to my comments have been interesting.  Typically the manufacturer is blamed for producing a shoddy product except, apparently, when wind turbines are involved.  Wind turbines must be defended no matter what; even wind turbines that were manufactured without safeguards for weather.

The Texas power system, like many others, have been converting to natural gas.  That was the goal of Obama's Clean Power Plan.  It was natural gas electricity generation that failed in Texas.  And the wide-spread damage was caused by burst water pipes and not by electricity outages.

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
3.1.20  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1.19    one week ago
While I haven't been blaming wind turbines for what happened in Texas, the response to my comments have been interesting.  Typically the manufacturer is blamed for producing a shoddy product except, apparently, when wind turbines are involved.  Wind turbines must be defended no matter what; even wind turbines that were manufactured without safeguards for weather. The Texas power system, like many others, have been converting to natural gas.  That was the goal of Obama's Clean Power Plan.  It was natural gas electricity generation that failed in Texas.  And the wide-spread damage was caused by burst water pipes and not by electricity outages.

I'm one of the last people to defend wind turbines. I don't think the tech has evolved enough to be used across the US. I asked you if you truly believed that places like MN or IA have wind turbines shut down for 6 months of the year. Considering what some here have said [that currently live or have previously lived in MN], wind turbines are NOT shut down for 6 months out of the year.

What did TX use before natural gas? I'm seriously asking, because I don't know.

Burst water pipes is an issue with the infrastructure and should've been prevented. The RARE times there's a gas or water line that has burst in MI [the only place I can really speak to with detailed knowledge], it's because it gets to -20F degrees ACTUAL temp and the pipes are OLD. There should've been prevention methods put in place. There should've been back ups put in place. There's no good reason that pipes could not withstand temps that TX had.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
3.1.21  Tessylo  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1.19    one week ago
"While I haven't been blaming wind turbines for what happened in Texas, the response to my comments have been interesting."

You mean the truth as opposed to whatever it is that you have been posting?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
3.1.22  Nerm_L  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @3.1.20    one week ago
I'm one of the last people to defend wind turbines. I don't think the tech has evolved enough to be used across the US. I asked you if you truly believed that places like MN or IA have wind turbines shut down for 6 months of the year. Considering what some here have said [that currently live or have previously lived in MN], wind turbines are NOT shut down for 6 months out of the year.

The local wind turbines operate intermittently throughout the year.  They do operate in cold weather but they don't operate continuously.  The turbines are not operating today because there isn't enough wind.  But those turbines must draw electricity from the grid so the controls and safeguards continue to function.  Wind turbines are controlled remotely and that requires electricity whether the turbine is generating electricity or not.

The local turbines don't operate in icing conditions or during blizzards because ice and snow will accumulate on the blades faster than any heating system can remove it.  During the last polar plunge that affected Texas we experienced about 140 hours of below zero temperatures.  I didn't observe the turbines operating but they may have without my noticing.  

What did TX use before natural gas? I'm seriously asking, because I don't know.

Texas relied on coal as did most of the country for electricity generation.  I don't know if Texas converted their steam systems to gas burners or if they replaced the boilers with gas turbines.  Transitioning to natural gas requires more than building pipelines.  IMO one of the mistakes made in Texas was to use electric compressors instead of gas or diesel compressors to deliver natural gas in the pipelines.  The power generators needed natural gas and the natural gas suppliers needed electricity.  Losing one or the other takes down the entire system.

Burst water pipes is an issue with the infrastructure and should've been prevented. The RARE times there's a gas or water line that has burst in MI [the only place I can really speak to with detailed knowledge], it's because it gets to -20F degrees ACTUAL temp and the pipes are OLD. There should've been prevention methods put in place. There should've been back ups put in place. There's no good reason that pipes could not withstand temps that TX had.

Yep.  The simplest precaution is to shut off the water and drain the piping in buildings.  It's only necessary to provide enough space for the ice to expand.  Even if some of the pipes had burst there wouldn't have been as much water damage if the water had been shut off in the buildings.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
3.1.23  Nerm_L  replied to  Tessylo @3.1.21    one week ago
You mean the truth as opposed to whatever it is that you have been posting?

What truth?  Ice and snow will accumulate on wind turbine blades the same way it accumulates on the windshield of a car.  Wind gusts affect wind turbines the same way they affect trucks and cars.  It's the same physics.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
3.1.24  Tessylo  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1.23    one week ago

I mean the truth - I don't know what it is that you're posting though regarding, well, anything actually.  

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
3.1.25  Nerm_L  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @3.1.17    one week ago
DTE didn't have issues nor rolling blackouts.

The polar conditions affected power grids from Texas to the Canadian border.  If Texas had been drawing electricity from those grids then the outages may well have been more widespread.  

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
3.1.26  Split Personality  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1.19    one week ago
That was the goal of Obama's Clean Power Plan.  It was natural gas electricity generation that failed in Texas. 

Texas did not participate in the CPP.  They avoided it by suing until a new Administration took over and Trump did not want to enforce it.

And the wide-spread damage was caused by burst water pipes and not by electricity outages.

Finally a grey area that is partially true.  Most of the property damages that insurance companies will be dealing with

will be the result of residential pipe breaks/water damage  as a result of a loss of electricity.

Water main breaks caused by

temperatures below zero continue to plague the 40 year old cast iron pipes in Fort Worth.

Of 611 reported, 361 have been repaired with 83 new reports today in Fort Worth alone.

Water main breaks are the municipalities problem. If they turn off water to an area, it's to repair the leak.

.

On the other hand the water companies rely on electric pumps to keep the water

moving through the water delivery system which in Texas varies from 2 to 4 feet down in the ground.

The normal frost line is 10 inches throughout TX.  Stalled water in water mains just a foot or two deeper froze

resulting in main fractures.

It takes the ground longer to warm up, so more water main breaks are expected for two more days.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
3.1.27  Nerm_L  replied to  Split Personality @3.1.26    one week ago
Texas did not participate in the CPP.  They avoided it by suing until a new Administration took over and Trump did not want to enforce it.

Texas leads the country in wind generation capacity by a large margin.  And about half of generating capacity in Texas is fueled by natural gas.  Texas accomplished what the CPP was intended to accomplish.  Same result but the Obama administration was denied political credit - and - that's evil.

Finally a grey area that is partially true.  Most of the property damages that insurance companies will be dealing with will be the result of residential pipe breaks/water damage  as a result of a loss of electricity.

No, the property damage was the result of not taking steps to avoid bursting pipes.  That's separate from the loss of electricity.  When the electricity supply went down, the preventative measures to avoid bursting pipes should have been taken.  Draining a piping system doesn't depend upon electricity.

Water main breaks are the municipalities problem. If they turn off water to an area, it's to repair the leak.

Water main breaks do not cause widespread property damage.  In this situation, breaks in the mains may not have been preventable.  But water would still have been available although access would have been inconvenient.  Certainly not a crisis if appropriate measures had been taken.

I'm guessing that sewage treatment went down, too, since the equipment is electrical.  But POTWs are required to have emergency plans in place to deal with those situations.

Seems to me that Texas suffered brain freeze.  Rare and unusually cold temperatures caused Texans to stop thinking.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
3.1.28  Split Personality  replied to  Nerm_L @3.1.27    one week ago
Texas leads the country in wind generation capacity by a large margin.  And about half of generating capacity in Texas is fueled by natural gas.  Texas accomplished what the CPP was intended to accomplish.  Same result but the Obama administration was denied political credit - and - that's evil.

Doesn't matter a bit. Power suppliers generally ignored ERCOT directions to winterize after similar events in 1989 & 2011. 

Bryan Energy lost all three power plants in 2011 and winterized afterwards.  All three plants ran throughout this storm

keeping the water moving in that system resulting in zero power outages and zero water main breaks.

It's that simple.

Seems to me that Texas suffered brain freeze.  Rare and unusually cold temperatures caused Texans to stop thinking.

It's not that rare and the thinking thing is certainly not limited to Texas.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
3.1.29  Split Personality  replied to  Split Personality @3.1.28    one week ago

I just took a short shopping trip and witnessed Fort Worth Water finish up at one intersection only to see

water erupt at the next corner a short distance away.

A block away an owner and his son were digging a trench in his flooded front yard

as his supply line had ruptured between the meter and the house. 

SMH looking at the shop vac they were using...

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
4  Tessylo    one week ago

Moreover, there's a lot more to this than this article shows. People wonder why I'm leery of deregulation. 

From what I've read recently, there are variable rate utility rates and fixed rate utility rates; similar to mortgage rates, variable APRs are often confusing to the consumer. People sign up for the variable rates, assuming the rates will stay low. When they're not low, they can rise dramatically, because there's either not a cap on the rising amount, or there's an extremely high cap. There are people receiving electric bills [the few that still had power the whole time] that were in the $6000 range when normally, they were paying $100 / month this time of year. Those on a fixed rate plan, didn't experience these huge bill issues. No one wants to admit that they should've gone with a fixed rate. No one wants to admit that TX government screwed the pooch by not being prepared for the rare or occasional proverbial shit that hits the fan.

I couldn't agree with you more.  Deregulation is what caused this in the first place.

Some profited off this whole thing.  Look to those folks.

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
4.1  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Tessylo @4    one week ago

Some profited off this whole thing.  Look to those folks.

One large company is making huge profits and the people that decided to go with that variable rate are now looking to TX legislation for answers.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
4.1.1  Split Personality  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @4.1    one week ago
WILL THOSE WHO GOT LARGE BILLS GET FINANCIAL HELP?

That’s unclear. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Sunday that he is working with members of the legislature to address skyrocketing energy bills and “find ways that the state can help reduce this burden.” But he didn’t give specifics on what that may be. For the time being, the state has stopped companies from cutting off power for not paying.

Rhodes said bailing out customers may be a hard sell since they opted to pay wholesale prices and may have paid a much lower price than others for some time.

Why Are Texans Getting Sky-High Power Bills & What Is Wholesale Electricity Pricing? (msn.com)

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
4.1.2  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Split Personality @4.1.1    one week ago

Yeah, that article was similar to one I read; however, the one I read had personal sad stories. One of the comments below the article I read had someone chime in that lives in TX and pays a flat rate and that person explained all kinds of stuff.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Guide
4.1.3  Tacos!  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @4.1    one week ago

In my opinion, the crazy power bills are illegal. They easily fit within the definitions of price gouging during a disaster, which is prohibited by Texas law (and pretty much everywhere else in this country).

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
4.1.4  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Tacos! @4.1.3    one week ago

Agreed.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Senior Guide
4.1.5  Thrawn 31  replied to  Tacos! @4.1.3    one week ago

If they aren’t illegal they should be. It amounts to little more than punishing people lucky enough to still have power for not wanting to freeze. It is absolutely using a disaster to fleece the needy. 

If nothing else there needs to be a firm price cap in place, because $6,000 for a weeks worth of electricity is beyond absurd.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
5  Split Personality    one week ago

Of course Vistra was worried, they are literally one of two energy providers in the state

having gobbled up all of the independents Vistra is now an umbrella corporation with multiple subsidiaries some of whom are the retailers

that caused the outrageous electric bills people have been receiving ( up to $67,000.00 for one apartment renter )

Vistra has 24 subsidiaries including TXU Retail  which like Griddy experienced horrible problems with pricing.

Vistra and NRG are the reason no one winterizes ...

512

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
5.1  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Split Personality @5    one week ago

So, is this an oligarchy situation then? It seems like it. Griddy is the company I had read about yesterday.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
5.1.1  Split Personality  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @5.1    one week ago

I had TXU energy prior to Solar City, they have the biggest retail operation in the state.

When this happened in California in 200-2001 hundreds of thousands of people declared bankruptcy as well as all

pf the electric retailers and CA made them illegal after that.

It may happen here as well...

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
5.1.2  Split Personality  replied to  Split Personality @5.1.1    one week ago

People should not be able to gamble with the PUC.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Guide
6  Tacos!    one week ago
"The warning signs were there, but the public was unaware of the gravity of the situation, which led to people being unable to respond and make the necessary adjustments for their families."

Other than maybe buying a generator, what “necessary adjustments” do you suppose they had in mind? 

A lot of the comments over the last several days - from politically-minded critics or power companies trying to cover their butts - seem to be of the theme that a lot of the difficulties and suffering associated with this weather event could have been easily avoided but for criminal incompetence on the part of “somebody.” There doesn’t seem to be any willingness to consider that sometimes a freak storm hits and causes a lot of problems, and that’s life.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
6.1  Tessylo  replied to  Tacos! @6    one week ago

They could have been prepared for this if they hadn't cut corners.  That's not 'life'.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
6.2  evilgenius  replied to  Tacos! @6    one week ago
...suffering associated with this weather event could have been easily avoided but for criminal incompetence on the part of “somebody.”

I would say there is plenty of blame to go around. There were suggested changes for winterization after the last major winter outage. None of those changes seems to have been implemented. That would put the blame squarely on the various energy companies. Also since there was no mechanism to force any of those precautions - some blame could be put on state lawmakers. Eventually I guess one could blame the voters who keep voting for people that keep screwing them. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Guide
6.2.1  Tacos!  replied to  evilgenius @6.2    one week ago
None of those changes seems to have been implemented.

But would they have helped? I’m genuinely wondering. This wasn’t simply unusual weather. The news kept saying this was the first time in history that a winter storm warning was issued for the entire state. It’s hard to see how we could reasonably expect all parties to be adequately prepared for a thing like that.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
6.2.2  Split Personality  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.1    one week ago
The news kept saying this was the first time in history that a winter storm warning was issued for the entire state. It’s hard to see how we could reasonably expect all parties to be adequately prepared for a thing like that.

It happened in 2011, about on tenth of this storm and about the same in 1989.  the results?

Everyone in ERCOT was replaced; they recommended winterizing the basics but did not demand it.

The current crew at ERCOT all date back to 2011, committed the exact same mistakes.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
6.2.3  evilgenius  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.1    one week ago
But would they have helped?

The people who deal in energy around the world in worse weather areas say it would. I have no reason to doubt them.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Guide
6.2.4  Tacos!  replied to  Split Personality @6.2.2    one week ago

I’m not trying too say it has never been cold in Texas or that they have never had a power issue. I don’t think it’s hard to see the very simple distinction of degree in severity.

Texas under winter storm warning for 1st time in history

If you can’t figure out “1st time in history,” then I can’t help you.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Guide
6.2.5  Tacos!  replied to  evilgenius @6.2.3    one week ago

You don’t have any special reason to believe them, either. “Around the world” isn’t Texas. Every place has its priorities. You plan for the stuff you have to plan for, and that’s usually the stuff that is very likely to happen. If you have excess resources, maybe you plan for some less likely things, but you won’t be able to cover all bases.

I live in California and we’re famous for things like fires, mudslides, and earthquakes, and we have spent generations and billions (maybe trillions?) of dollars preparing for them. We still get overwhelmed sometimes, especially when there is an extreme event that is rarely or never seen. It happens.

When a bunch of people - especially people prone to see life through the lens of politics (or getting sued) - are freaking out over the consequences of a natural disaster, I resist getting caught up in the tide of outrage. There is plenty of time for outrage if time and thoughtful analysis still deem it appropriate.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
6.2.6  Split Personality  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.4    one week ago
Texas under winter storm warning for 1st time in history If you can’t figure out “1st time in history,” then I can’t help you.

And I cannot help you if you think some headline for a Yahoo News Video is factual and not just click bait.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Guide
6.2.7  Tacos!  replied to  Split Personality @6.2.6    one week ago
And I cannot help you if you think some headline for a Yahoo News Video is factual and not just click bait.

That's your counterargument? You claim that it's not factual and that it's clickbait? How about a video from CNBC that makes the exact same claim?

How about a story from local radio station KISS-FM in El Paso?

State Of Texas Under Winter Storm Warning For 1st Time In History

For the first time in history , the entire State of Texas has been placed under a winter storm warning prompting a Federal Emergency Declaration.


How about this map from the NOAA that shows several records being broken, not just in Texas, but across the region.

all-time-rec-lows-7-20feb21.jpg?crop=16:9&width=480&format=pjpg&auto=webp&quality=60

This resulted in the most widespread snow cover in the Lower 48 states in  at least 17 years .

You want to give me some more BS about the extreme, record breaking, unprecedented nature of this weather being "non factual" or "clickbait?"

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Senior Guide
6.2.8  Thrawn 31  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.7    one week ago

All I can say is that I am so glad I am part of a federally regulated power grid. My bills are always in the low $100 range and I NEVER lose power when it gets cold, snows, freezes etc. I think our power went out once like 3 years ago for about 30 seconds.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Senior Guide
7  Thrawn 31    one week ago

The entire state was warned by its own agencies 10 years ago, and of course took no action. Gonna be the same story this time around.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
8  Tessylo    one week ago

Texas’s deregulated energy market has resulted in $20k electricity bills for some residents. Watch:

153877165_10159777101941800_6787675810938327402_o.jpg?_nc_cat=1&ccb=3&_nc_sid=9267fe&_nc_ohc=87ssabE9E1gAX9uStla&_nc_ht=scontent-iad3-1.xx&oh=8680ca472a64b1e7098ee4f3a755f69b&oe=605C4502

 
 
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