Over-dependence on Wind Power Causes Energy Emergency in Texas
By: Robert Snyder
As was discussed on the February 2nd edition of Pratt on Texas, the ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) rolling blackouts across the state could have been prevented with better planning and policy.Funny we who suffered those"blackouts" didn't get this on our news.
Electrical engineer, Ross Aten, joined Robert Pratt to talk about how too many coal and natural gas power plants within ERCOT were taken offline for maintenance. Ross also explained that if you, ‘ran the numbers’, the only way ERCOT could have met peak winter demand usage is if wind energy across the state was producing at significant totals. However, because of the ice storm and lack of wind, windmills weren’t producing any energy.
That is scary to think about. ERCOT without any public proclamation or policy announcement, put all of its proverbial eggs into the ‘wind energy basket’. Or, think about it this way, because of bureaucratic policy and bad planning, millions of Texans had to deal with rolling blackouts during deathly cold conditions.
We heard some horrible stories on the show from people in Abilene that had electronics damaged, and destroyed, because of the electricity popping on and off during the rolling blackouts.
A quick aside, I know the term ‘rolling blackout’ has become accepted because it’s a temporary blackout that is supposed to ‘spread the pain’, but in reality a blackout is a blackout. It doesn’t matter how your home or business doesn’t have power. If you don’t have power, you can’t work and in many conditions, can’t live.
Luckilly (for today) [Feb 4th], the Lubbock Power & Light and Xcel Energy grids in the South Plains and Panhandle is not connected to ERCOT. I’d imagine that if those two companies systems were connected to ERCOT, the rolling blackouts would have encompassed an even larger portion of the state.