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The Texas Power Grid is ready for severe winter weather

A briefing on Tuesday from high ranking Texas officials showed confidence and preparedness for any potential winter storms.

TEXAS, USA — West Texans experienced snow just last week, and as the weather begins to worsen with winter nearing, one can’t help but make the connection to the arctic blast that shook the Lone Star State in early 2021. 

The head of the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the new CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas say the state's power grid is ready for whatever the upcoming winter may bring.

PUC Chairman Peter Lake and ERCOT CEO Pablo Vargas gave a briefing Tuesday on the grid's readiness, saying they're better prepared than ever before to handle extreme weather.

"Because of the changes that had been initiated by the legislature and the administration, and because of the actions taken by the PUCT and ERCOT over the last year and a half, we are in a position where that the elements that are within our control related to the reliability and the operation of the grid are as strong as they've ever been going into this winter season," said Vargas. 

After the 2021 storm, lawmakers passed new regulations forcing electricity providers to protect their equipment in extreme weather.

"Out of the gates I want to remind folks about all of the reforms that we have put in place, especially ahead of last winter when we rapidly put in new rules to require generators to weatherize," said Lake. "We followed that by inspections of generators across the ERCOT grid." 

Along with everything that has transpired since early last year, it appears that the energy needed will be provided.

“In addition, we've built out and mapped a critical supply chain and critical infrastructure network to make sure that the natural gas supply chain stays online at all times and ensures the gas continues to flow to our generators," said Lake. 

An October 2022 report by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said the grid should be able to meet demand under normal conditions, but that there were concerns about its ability to do that in extreme weather as we saw in February 2021.

That winter storm plunged millions of Texans into darkness when providers scrambled to keep the grid from collapsing.

Increased communication among many state organizations also aims to help make these proactive measures successful. 

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