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Texas Puts Out Energy Rationing Alerts Amid ‘Unseasonably Low Wind’

Texas’ grid operator asked its customers to preserve energy on Monday morning amid “unseasonably low wind.”

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has asked its more than 25 million customers to conserve as much energy as they safely can as a cold snap takes hold over the state. ERCOT’s conservation appeal cites “record-breaking demand and unseasonably low wind” as the key reasons behind potential supply adequacy issues.

“ERCOT continues to monitor conditions and will provide updates through our communication channels,” a spokesperson for ERCOT told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “At this time, any outages are local in nature, and not related to overall grid reliability.”

The cold weather has diminished ERCOT’s ability to generate solar and wind power, while coal, natural gas and nuclear are supplying nearly 85% of the grid’s supply, according to ERCOT’s fuel mix dashboard. Wind was supplying about 7% of ERCOT’s electricity at 8 a.m on Monday, compared to 15% at the same time on Sunday.

In February 2021, a brutal cold snap plunged the state into blackouts as wind turbines froze over and were rendered useless by the conditions.

“It is no secret that the wind pretty much always does as temperatures go lower and lower. If the Texas grid managers do not understand this, then Texas needs new grid managers,” David Blackmon, a 40-year veteran of the oil and gas business who now writes and consults on the energy sector from his home in Texas, wrote in a post to X following the issuance of the conservation appeal. “So, as I pointed out last night, today and tomorrow on the (Texas grid) will as usual come down to natural gas, and the ability of both ERCOT and the industry to keep the compressor stations and pipelines up and running. It will also depend on the ability of power generators to keep their plants online. As has been the case for well over 20 years now as all the propaganda about wind and solar and batteries have permeated the Texas and national media, it is natural gas that will save the damn day in Texas.”

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbot said Friday that grid infrastructure and operators are much better-positioned to handle the cold snap than was the case with the 2021 winter storm and subsequent crisis, which directly or indirectly took the lives of more than 240 people in the state, according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.

The appeal is in place from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. local time. ERCOT narrowly avoided rolling blackouts in the summer of 2023, when an extended period of high temperatures drove up demand while wind power came up short.

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