Texans Under Power Stress, but Grid Ignores Efficiency

May 14, 2022

Texas Energy Consultant Doug Lewin on Twitter (lightly edited):

A LOT of thermal power plants are out for maintenance (~16GW) & Friday, more broke: 6 gas plants = to ~3GW, roughly an Austin worth of power.

When thermal power plants are offline or break, when wind and/or solar are low, and demand high, you need other resources. Two great ones are demand response & storage. We have very little demand response overall & damn near zero residential

We could get automated reductions from things like pool pumps & electric hot water heaters. If even just 10-20% of the population opts in—& is paid for it—we’d have demand reductions = to the output of many power plants. This was a recommendation by FERC/NERC after Feb.

As bad as this May is, imagine what July/Aug might be. As we’re seeing,

@ERCOT_ISO & @PUCTX are not ready. They can and should begin a massive #demandresponse effort now to help prepare for summer.

Instead of begging people to reduce, pay them. Make it systematic, automatic. Help Texans reduce their energy bills while increasing reliability. This should have been done a long time ago.
In addition to DR, we need more #storage. We’ve got some but ERCOT recently passed a rule (called an NPRR) that keeps 1- and 2- hour storage out of the Non Spin Reserve Service, a formerly $50m/ year program that is now ~$500m


3 Responses to “Texans Under Power Stress, but Grid Ignores Efficiency”

  1. renewableguy Says:

    I couldn’t open the email link and had to come to the site to the see the article.

  2. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Doug Lewin responded to Michael Webber’s thread with an explanatory thread of his own.

    The thread is unrolled here (for those of you who don’t Twitter):

  3. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    The flip side of the natural intermittency of wind and PV solar farms is that they don’t have to shut completely down for maintenance. Wind turbines on a farm are shut down one at a time, and it’s less of a hassle to defer some of the maintenance for a week. Solar farms are even easier to maintain.

    No zebra mussels on intake pipes, either. :þ

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