Texas Winter Storm and its power deficiency issues.
Every winter is something hard for people who leave in areas that year by year are victims of the harsh weather. Entire families suffer from power outages due to the outdated Grid system and the weather conditions but not only that, the deregulated market allows companies to raise their prices as much as they want according to the demand. Did you know you can protect you and your family from this? Let me tell you more about that but first, I want to touch on a very recent scenario in modern history where there is enough proof your need to pay attention to the way your house generates electricity.
On February 2021, the state of Texas suffered a major power crisis, which came about as a result of three severe winter storms sweeping across the United States on February 10-11, 13-17, and 15-20.
It was later discovered that inadequately winterized natural gas equipment contributed to the grid failure as well. In 2002, Texas had isolated its power grid from the two major national grids in a successful effort to reduce power costs in the state and deregulate its energy sector. This disconnection made it difficult for the state to import electricity from other states during the crisis.
By February 17, at least 21 p eople died from causes related to the winter storm. By February 19, the number was updated to at least 32 people who died, with deaths linked to carbon monoxide poisoning, car crashes, drownings, house fires and hypothermia. On February 21, the death toll had increased to 70. As of July 14, 2021 the total loss of life was reported as 210.
In addition to equipment problems, demand for electricity in Texas hit a record 69,692 megawatts (MW) on February 14 — 3,200 MW higher than the previous record set in January 2018 12,329 MW higher than its current capacity. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) initiated rotating outages at 1:25am on February 15. The rotating outages prevented electricity demand from overwhelming the grid, a scenario that could have caused equipment to catch fire and power lines to go down, potentially resulting in a much more severe blackout. At the peak, over 5 million people in Texas were without power, some for more than 3 days.
During the period of outages, wholesale electric prices went to as high as $9,000/megawatt-hour which was limited as a “system cap”, compared to a more typical $50/MWh. Customers with pricing plans based on wholesale prices who had power faced large bills. Some Griddy customers signed up for wholesale variable rates plans allowed by the Texas deregulated electricity market, found themselves facing over $5,000 bills for five days of service during the storm. Wholesale prices stayed at $9,000 for about four days, which is a cap set by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
The Good News
The good news is that people who had solar panels installed on their roof or property continued to generate electricity during power outages, as they do every day because the panels could still be charged by the sunlight and solar energy. Keep in mind that if you are still connected to the grid and you don’t have a solar battery, you will not be able to use the energy to run your house during a power outage since your solar system may shut down. (Depending on the plan)
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