Bogus Texas “Wind Turbine” Story Comes Undone

February 17, 2021

Power:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said reforming the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is an emergency item for state legislators in the current session, as power outages continue across the state for another day due to record cold temperatures as part of a massive winter storm.

The governor on Feb. 16 said he wants lawmakers to investigate ERCOT, which operates much of the state’s electric grid and manages its deregulated power market, even as he said it would have been impossible to prepare “for this type of event, because the last time we had this type of weather was more than 100 years ago.”

ERCOT said it lost about 34 GW of power supply as the cold temperatures forced both coal-fired and natural gas-fired plants offline. The cold also reduced the supply of natural gas to power plants, and caused wind turbines to freeze. Wind supplies the second-most amount of power to Texas customers, behind natural gas, and the turbines in Texas are not equipped with cold weather packages that would enable them to operate in extreme cold.

Governor Abbott telling the story two different ways depending on the audience. Here on Fox News he blames “the Green New Deal”

While below, he admits Houston blackout largely due to failure of a large nuclear plant.

One reason Abbott is playing both sides, he knows that this is the kind of event that causes Governors to lose their jobs.
Beto O’Rourke is nipping at his heels, and, perhaps, smelling blood.

Bloomberg:

Don’t point too many fingers at Texas wind turbines, because they’re not the main reason broad swaths of the state have been plunged into darkness.

While ice has forced some turbines to shut down just as a brutal cold wave drives record electricity demand, that’s been the least significant factor in the blackouts, according to Dan Woodfin, a senior director for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s power grid.

The main factors: Frozen instruments at natural gas, coal and even nuclear facilities, as well as limited supplies of natural gas, he said. “Natural gas pressure” in particular is one reason power is coming back slower than expected Tuesday, added Woodfin.

“We’ve had some issues with pretty much every kind of generating capacity in the course of this multi-day event,” he said.

Dallas Morning News:

By midday Monday, state energy officials and experts were reporting that the major outages in the power grid came from thermal sources, such as natural gas and coal, not renewable sources.

Because of unprecedented weather conditions, power was down right when demand was at its peak, said Daniel Cohan, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University. Record-breaking cold temperatures were lower than forecasted, and with households demanding more energy than usual, some natural gas power plants could not get the energy they needed to operate.

In some parts of the country with colder climates, natural gas units are equipped to substitute oil or diesel for when gas is unavailable.

“You could have more wind and solar producing at low capacity factors — that does help,” Jenkins said. “But it’s a sign that you need a more diverse mix of resources overall, and in particular, you can’t count on gas units to be 100% firm in winter conditions.”

2 Responses to “Bogus Texas “Wind Turbine” Story Comes Undone”


  1. I wonder how exceptional is this cold weather in Texas. Are there some tineseries that can tell this?


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