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  1. #61
    Texas Was Warned a Decade Ago Its Grid Was Unready for Cold
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/texas...195546717.html

    Federal regulators warned Texas that its power plants couldn’t be counted on to reliably churn out electricity in bitterly cold conditions a decade ago, when the last deep freeze plunged 4 million people into the dark.

    They recommended that utilities use more insulation, heat pipes and take other steps to winterize plants -- strategies commonly observed in cooler climates but not in normally balmy Texas.

    “Where did those recommendations go, and how were they implemented?” said Jeff Dennis, managing director of Advanced Energy Economy, an association of clean energy businesses. “Those are going to be some pretty key questions.”

    As investigators probe the current power crisis in Texas, which has left millions of people without power or a promise of when it will be restored, questions are sure to be raised about how the state responded to the urgings from the 2011 analysis, issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North America Electric Reliability Corporation, which sets reliability standards.

    The February 2011 incident occurred when an Arctic cold front descended on the Southwest, sending temperatures below freezing for four days in a row. The result was disastrous. Equipment and instruments froze, forcing the shutdown of power plants and rolling blackouts, according to the report.

    Moreover, some of the same equipment, the report noted, had failed during previous cold snaps. One in December 1989 prompted the state’s grid operator to resort to system-wide rolling blackouts for the first time.

    “Many generators failed to adequately apply and institutionalize knowledge and recommendations from previous severe winter weather events, especially as to winterization of generation and plant auxiliary equipment,” the 2011 report said.

    The failures have already spurred a tangle of finger-pointing, with Texas Governor Greg Abbott calling on leaders of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state’s grid operator, to resign.

    Representatives of Ercot did not respond to emailed questions asking specifically about why key recommendations from 2011 went unheeded. But asked about the need for more weatherization in news conferences Tuesday and Wednesday, Ercot officials said that while it has called for companies to harden their facilities, it can’t force them to do so.

    Power generators have voluntary guidelines to follow and already have a financial incentive to keep plants running during cold snaps when prices spike, Dan Woodfin, Ercot senior director of system operations, told reporters Tuesday.

    “There aren’t regulatory penalties at the current time” for not complying with the weatherization guidelines, Woodfin said.

    A state law enacted after the 2011 freeze authorized the Public Utility Commission of Texas to require power companies to disclose their weatherization efforts. But the state has not gone further in mandating the precautions.

    Some steps were taken to harden assets after 2011, and more will probably be spurred by this storm, said Alan Scheller-Wolf, a professor of operations management at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. But economic factors -- including how much consumers will tolerate in the form of higher electricity prices -- will play a role in those decisions.

    Separate Grid

    “Are you going to winterize if you don’t get your money back?” Scheller-Wolf questioned. “The Texas industry values less regulatory mandates and they value having their separate detached power grid, so I would find it unlikely that they are going to hit their companies with a raft of regulation.”

    Power companies have little incentive to make investments in winterization they may not recoup, said Adrian Shelley, Texas office director of the advocacy group Public Citizen.

    In the 1989 storm, wind chills reached 14 degrees below zero in Texas, forcing power plants to operate below capacity or fail to start altogether. And after that storm, as with the 2011 episode, regulators issued a slate of recommendations aimed at improving winterization.

    “These recommendations were not mandatory, and over the course of time implementation lapsed,” FERC and NERC said in their 357-page report in 2011. “Many of the generators that experienced outages in 1989 failed again in 2011.”

    The report recommended dozens of changes for lawmakers, regulators and power plants in the southern U.S. Among them: wider adoption of reliability standards to harden power plants and related equipment against the cold. Wind barriers, better insulation and heating systems could be installed, for example.

    Similar steps are already taken to protect power plants and wind farms in reliably colder climates, from Norway to Canada.

    Arctic Blast

    Southwestern power regulators should “prepare for the winter season with the same sense of urgency and priority as they prepare for the summer peak season,” NERC and FERC warned.

    The failures this week underscore how much work still needs to be done.

    Wind farms were paralyzed as rain and plummeting temperatures locked up turbines. Frozen instruments triggered shutdowns at some natural gas and coal plants. Natural gas flows were pinched as wells froze shut and supplies were diverted to home heating instead of power plants. Icy water even briefly took a nuclear plant in south Texas offline.

    The unusual nature of this storm -- with cold temperatures and winds buffeting plants -- is also a factor, Ercot’s Woodfin said. “It’s been more severe than anything that’s happened before,” Woodfin said in a call Wednesday.

    He cited freezing moisture in instrumentation lines as well as problems with trucked-in deliveries of water to one plant Wednesday morning.

    There are myriad reasons Texas has seen outages, but many of the failures are likely tied to simply being unprepared for extreme cold weather -- the same kind of problems highlighted in 2011, said Joshua Rhodes, a research associate at the University of Texas at Austin’s Webber Energy Group.

    The current Arctic blast -- which caused temperatures to fall two degrees below zero in Dallas on Tuesday -- is far worse than 2011. For Texas grid operators and power generators, the question going forward will be whether they take steps to deal with the next bad winter storm.

    “It’s never happened before,” Rhodes said. “But now it has happened, so we’re going to have to figure out do we plan for this? If so it will probably be more expensive.”
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  2. #62
    https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02...outages-ercot/



    I have nfi how great the risk was of that happening, but dang.

    Meanwhile:

    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  3. #63
    MAGA crowd infuriated by unfair attacks on Ted Cruz, calls for greater scrutiny of the Dem governor of Texas:

    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  4. #64
    Cruz: ""In hindsight, if I had understood how it would be perceived, the reaction people would have, obviously I wouldn't have done it,"

    A peak into the mind of this man.

    His only care is how he is perceived. Your image, that's the most important thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    MAGA crowd infuriated by unfair attacks on Ted Cruz, calls for greater scrutiny of the Dem governor of Texas:

    Wait a second - since when has Texas had a Dem Governor?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Wait a second - since when has Texas had a Dem Governor?
    Since yesterday
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  7. #67
    That's Lying Ted Dickhead Jr is talking about. Show some respect.
    I could have had class. I could have been a contender.
    I could have been somebody. Instead of a bum
    Which is what I am

    I aim at the stars
    But sometimes I hit London

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    By thinking outside the box:

    The weak will parish.

    Does this mean they get sent to church?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  9. #69
    Sounds like someone forgot about the whole 'division of labour' thing we have going on since the agricultural revolution
    So may your dreams be monumental when your spirit guides the way
    Within in the flicker of a candle, I will heal your soul's decay
    We share a fate, trapped on a page, by the author of our world's demise

  10. #70
    Beating a dead horse at this point, but what the hell, texas deserves it.

    Man-made disaster: Capitalism and Republicans failed the people of Texas
    https://www.peoplesworld.org/article...ople-of-texas/
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  11. #71
    Your friendly reminder that corruption and politicians perverting the market to avoid competition and bump up costs to their voters and profits to their donors have nothing to do with capitalism.

    The modern GOP have abandoned capitalism. What the Texans have done and what Trump advocated is better called Mercantilism and is to many extents the opposite of capitalism despite some similarities. Mercantilism used to be rather extinct as it doesn't work and capitalism is better but the GOP seem determined to revive that failed philosophy.
    Last edited by RandBlade; 02-19-2021 at 06:28 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  12. #72
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  13. #73
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  14. #74
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  15. #75
    So may your dreams be monumental when your spirit guides the way
    Within in the flicker of a candle, I will heal your soul's decay
    We share a fate, trapped on a page, by the author of our world's demise

  16. #76
    Absolutely mercantilism not capitalism. Scum.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  17. #77
    Turns out nothing in Texas is winterized, who would have thought?

  18. #78
    Considering Texas has winters from time to time, this is far from unprecented, it would perhaps be worth winterising?

    Or even just connecting to the national grid so that when power goes down in Texas it can be imported from elsewhere - and the rest of the time if they're overgenerating it can be exported.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  19. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    Turns out nothing in Texas is winterized, who would have thought?
    Do I expect Texas to be totally winterized? No. Someone posted the pic from Texarkana regarding snow plows and my main thought was "wait, why is it that ARKANAS has snow plows available either?" I expect lots of places in CA to be similarly unplowed because we just don't get it in the lowlands. But things like powerplants? Yeah, I kinda do expect them to be winterized, just like I expect buildings in North Dakota or Delaware to be built to earthquake code
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  20. #80
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Especially when it was recommended a couple of years ago.
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  21. #81
    Stuff like power plants should be set up to cope with once in a decade events.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  22. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Considering Texas has winters from time to time, this is far from unprecented, it would perhaps be worth winterising?

    Or even just connecting to the national grid so that when power goes down in Texas it can be imported from elsewhere - and the rest of the time if they're overgenerating it can be exported.
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    Do I expect Texas to be totally winterized? No. Someone posted the pic from Texarkana regarding snow plows and my main thought was "wait, why is it that ARKANAS has snow plows available either?" I expect lots of places in CA to be similarly unplowed because we just don't get it in the lowlands. But things like powerplants? Yeah, I kinda do expect them to be winterized, just like I expect buildings in North Dakota or Delaware to be built to earthquake code
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Stuff like power plants should be set up to cope with once in a decade events.
    I know this has gotten insanely politicized, so saying something becomes immediately seen as "taking a side". But the levels of cold in Texas were pretty record-breaking. Which isn't to excuse a lack of preparation for infrastructure, but keep in mind it's normally so hot there that large segments of their power generation equipment is housed basically outside to improve cooling.

    But overall this region just doesn't get much/any snow. Much like how snowstorms disable the Washington, DC area for days whenever one hits.

    Most of the extreme weather prep in this region is devoted to hurricanes, storms and heat. It took a few more hours for Texarkana to plow the Texas side of that street. Having been to Texarkana on a campaign to solidify voter ID protections, I'm surprised either side of that city has any plows

  23. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    I know this has gotten insanely politicized, so saying something becomes immediately seen as "taking a side". But the levels of cold in Texas were pretty record-breaking. Which isn't to excuse a lack of preparation for infrastructure, but keep in mind it's normally so hot there that large segments of their power generation equipment is housed basically outside to improve cooling.

    But overall this region just doesn't get much/any snow. Much like how snowstorms disable the Washington, DC area for days whenever one hits.

    Most of the extreme weather prep in this region is devoted to hurricanes, storms and heat. It took a few more hours for Texarkana to plow the Texas side of that street. Having been to Texarkana on a campaign to solidify voter ID protections, I'm surprised either side of that city has any plows
    Different elements of society should face different levels of stress.

    Its reasonable for a business like a restaurant to perhaps be unable to cope with once in a year or once in a decade event. Nobody misses them much if they shut down.

    But critical infrastructure like power plants ought to be able to cope with bad weather. Even if its once in a decade events.

    The infrastructure in the North Sea for instance is risk assessed that it should cope with a once in a century event. Texas having a winter isn't once in a century.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  24. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    I know this has gotten insanely politicized, so saying something becomes immediately seen as "taking a side". But the levels of cold in Texas were pretty record-breaking. Which isn't to excuse a lack of preparation for infrastructure, but keep in mind it's normally so hot there that large segments of their power generation equipment is housed basically outside to improve cooling.

    But overall this region just doesn't get much/any snow. Much like how snowstorms disable the Washington, DC area for days whenever one hits.

    Most of the extreme weather prep in this region is devoted to hurricanes, storms and heat. It took a few more hours for Texarkana to plow the Texas side of that street. Having been to Texarkana on a campaign to solidify voter ID protections, I'm surprised either side of that city has any plows
    As others have said in this thread, the cold weather was certainly unusual but not really unexpected. Previous cold snaps in the last two decades have resulted in multiple recommendations to improve weatherization of power generation, transmission, and fuel infrastructure. Those recommendations were completely ignored. There's really very little excuse.

    (I do want to recognize that Texas is not unique wrt ignoring needed infrastructure improvements to cope with unusual events of ever increasing frequency. But just because other people are also doing a bad job doesn't mean we should give Texas a free pass for such a colossal screwup.)
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  25. #85
    oh my god stop privatizing essential infrastructure ya crazies
    So may your dreams be monumental when your spirit guides the way
    Within in the flicker of a candle, I will heal your soul's decay
    We share a fate, trapped on a page, by the author of our world's demise

  26. #86
    But think of all the freedom you're expressing by getting a $16,000 power bill you have to either pay or eventually lose your house over.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

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