Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #TexasFreeze

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EXCLUSIVE: Ahead of the winter weather set to grip Texas later this week, the state’s gas regulator says 98% of facilities are winterized.

But inspectors say that data is flawed.
➡️… Flares burn off excess natu...
@shelbywebb @Bloomberg At a Tuesday press conference, @JimWright4Texas repeated a claim the @txrrc has made for weeks: Inspections found that 98% of 4,000 natural gas facilities - helping to generate electricity for 26M customers on Texas’ power grid - have been winterized.…
But the results of those inspections - obtained by the @HoustonChron - raise doubts that Texas' natural gas infrastructure is as prepared as state officials would have residents believe.…
Read 8 tweets
This comes from TX gov's letter to the local PUC in light of a stressed electrical #grid & it is so scientifically uninformed! A 🧵on #reliability in the #electricity sector... -1/n
Reliability is the behavior of an asset according to what is built to do w/o "breaking". Wind turbines & photovoltaics (WT+PV) are reliable when they generate according to blowing wind & shining sun. They are unreliable when a WT blade breaks or PV get hot-spots. -2/n
In other words WT+PV #volatility has nothing to do w/ reliability. Pushing the "volatility=reliability" narrative is unscientific, if not plain bad use of the language we all agree upon to communicate w/. -3/n
Read 6 tweets
This meeing is underway. Can be viewed here.

Chairman Lake says the meeting today is a venue for discussion, a forum for consideration of ideas, not for taking action, which will stay in the more formal open meetings.

More updates soon on this thread.…
Commissioner McAdams agrees that this is a good way to discuss things before decisions are made which gives the public more chance to weigh in.

Public comment begins.
Rita Robles, a resident of Denver Harbor, a Houston neighborhood, addresses the commissioners. Says many people in her neighborhood had busted pipes. One neighbor still hasn't been able to fix her pipes nearly four months later.
Read 38 tweets
A lot going on today/this week on storm response. A quick 🧵 on what to look for this week:

#txlege #txenergy
Today on the House floor, #HB2000 by Huberty to create the State Utilities Reliability Fund, a loan/grant fund for weatherization of infrastructure, will likely come up. It was scheduled for last week but postponed. Huberty was arrested last Friday and was absent. Now he's back.
At 3CT, ERCOT and the PUCT will hold a Summer Preparedness Workshop. We could see very tight conditions and possibly outages this summer if extreme heat and drought occur.…

See this from @erinmdouglas23 @MitchellFerman… #txlege
Read 8 tweets
IMPORTANT NOTE for journalists and others reporting on this ERCOT generator outage data & #TexasBlackout #TexasFreeze:

ERCOT's reporting method for wind capacity outages overstates the impact of wind outages on reliability by about 4x.

Here's why...
The outages reported for wind in this report are based on reductions from the "Seasonal Max MW," which is the maxim rated capacity of the wind farm in the winter. But ERCOT wisely does NOT count on wind farms to produce 100% of their output (the wind is inconstant. Duh).
As the Winter "Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy for the ERCOT Region" report details, ERCOT 'de-rates' wind during winter peak load events to account for its variability. The derate differs for wind in different regions, but the average derate is ~25% of the max capacity.
Read 5 tweets
What went wrong in the #TexasFreeze & why should it be seen as a warning for the whole country? If you or someone you know has questions, this great animated explainer video that I helped @voxdotcom's @Maddie_Marshall produce is a the thing to watch/share:
Or, if you prefer the old school print media and tidy paragraphs one after another, I've got you covered there too. Here's my @nytopinion op ed
And amazing props to @japsendaydiego for the animation and video @voxdotcom. Super impressive work.

Read 3 tweets
Watching testimony in Texas House joint committee hearing now....

#txlege #TexasFreeze
First up are CEO's for Vista Energy and NRG. CEO of Vistra says natural gas availability to generation plants was the single biggest issue for energy shortage and methanol injection could have mitigated this issue. (This is exactly what I've said too)
Both CEOs for Vistra and NRG agree that having some capacity market would help mitigate disasters like this. I agree and think we should adopt a hybrid model that pays for both energy on demand and some reserve capacity.
Read 26 tweets
"Our job is to provide explanations, not excuses. And to find ways to prevent this from happening in the future." -- @ERCOT_ISO president Bill Magness
The slides on the @ERCOT_ISO presentation detailing what the organization does and does not do.
Here's a good breakdown of the different stages of Texas' electricity delivery.
Read 17 tweets
Humans weren't the only ones suffering from the #TexasWinterStorm2021. Thousands of fishes in the shallow Laguna Madre froze to death and are now lining the shorelines. Here are some photos from the Packery Channel. Be warned: dead fish content below ☠️🥶🐟
The most common species along the channel are pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides), a species that ranges from Cape Cod to the Yucatan. The birds seem to love their eyeballs 📌🐟
In second place are hardhead sea catfish (Ariopsis felis), bottom dwelling ariids that have an equally wide distribution. Interestingly, all of them look untouched. Looks like scavengers don't like catfish (can't blame them either) 🐈🐟
Read 8 tweets
An 18-year old black man — Rodney Reese — was walking home from work at @Walmart during #TexasFreeze when @PlanoPoliceDept officers charged him with “Pedestrian in the Roadway”, Tuesday. He spent the night in jail. I’m speaking with him — and the Chief of Police, tonight. @FOX4
ICYMI: Charge dropped for 18-year old Rodney Reese — arrested for walking along a street while coming home from work during #TexasFreeze. Nearly to his mom’s house — but spent the night in jail. Below is the first half of my report. FULL REPORT HERE:… @FOX4
HIS OWN WORDS: I gave Rodney Reese (18) — who was arrested for walking along the street during a snow storm, last week — an open mic as our interview closed. “It hurts, man. You don’t know if you’re going to make it back home.” FULL STORY:… @FOX4
Read 4 tweets
Every state in America interconnects their power lines to provide back-up in case of emergencies — except #Texas. To prevent federal regulation, Texas deliberately refused to connect its lines to other states. #TexasFreeze #TexasPowerOutage…
The federal government, which has restored a modicum of protection, can only police utilities that are connected to the national grid. So, Texas literally cut itself of from the rest of the USA’s electric system.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott blames windmills for this week’s deadly disaster. Some wind farms froze — but they manage to keep 'em going in the Antarctic!…
Read 5 tweets
@paulkrugman 1/ See, the TX market wasn't designed for reliable cost-effective power. It's a cynical construct designed to minimize costs, maximize profits at all times for oil/gas/elec & shift all possible risk to consumers.
@paulkrugman 2/ Nothing about it is 'competitive.' There is one grid, and the elec trans/dist guys have no competition in their assigned regions. All it did was create "energy marketers" who try to lure unwary consumers with constantly tweaked Byzantine pricing plans that require...
@paulkrugman 3/ ...a spreadsheet (!) to understand. THAT enabled the growth of cos like EnergyOgre that charge you % of savings to find cheapest plan. So we have among the highest rates in the US AND we have to pay for help figuring out how not to get maximally screwed by our utility cos.
Read 6 tweets
Tuning into @DSAecosocialism's #TexasFreeze 101 webinar. Our TX comrades are discussing how this disaster is the free market at work - risk is socialized and rewards are privatized as private energy & the politicians who enable them put profit over light & heat for our people.
Analyzing who has been impacted most by the #TexasFreeze shows how climate and energy issues are inextricably linked to anti-racism, abolition, housing and so much more. Our communities of color, incarcerated, houseless, and disabled populations are most at risk.
How did capitalism lead to the #TexasFreeze? When we privatize our grid (or rely on investor-owned utilities, like DTE here in A2) the first priority is always to maximize shareholder profits - not to help residents afford electric bills or stay safe in weather emergencies.
Read 8 tweets
For 100 years, electric prices were based on power company costs and “a reasonable profit.“ But in the 90s, a chuckling Chimp, Gov. Dubya Bush, dancing for his organ grinder Enron’s Ken Lay, created the “free“ market in electricity in Texas.…
Back then, in a guide I wrote for the United Nations entitled “Democracy and Regulation,“ I warned that a free market would become a “freeze” market. This week is not the first electricity nightmare for Texas.…
You’ve only got one wire going into your house — what we economists used to call “a natural monopoly.” Now it’s an unnatural monopoly, where they’ve got us by the bulbs.
#TexasPowerOutage #TexasBlizzard2021 #TexasFreeze…
Read 5 tweets
It takes a lot of gall -- or deliberate ignorance -- to see widespread failures of gas wells, pipelines, & power plants resulting in days-long loss of ~28,000 MW of thermal power plants, mostly gas, and say, "this proves we need more gas and coal plants!"
Some facts on the #TexasBlackouts for @KimStrassel and others peddling false narratives that do nothing but mislead and distract from the key steps Texans need to take.

1. ERCOT news release confirms 28,000 MW of thermal plant outages (mostly gas)…
2. "nearly half of the state’s natural gas production has screeched to a halt due to the extremely low temperatures, while freezing components at natural gas-fired power plants have forced some operators to shut down."…

#TexasFreeze #TexasBlackout
Read 7 tweets
What's happening in Texas is criminal:
Food shortages. Unsafe drinking water. Impassable roads. Flooded homes. A humanitarian crisis like we’ve not seen before.

This is what's going on in immigrant detention centers in the midst of the #TexasFreeze & what you can do to help🧵👇🏾
We have 10 offices across the state and most of our 250+ staff members have been without power for much of the week.

Luckily, we've now been able to communicate with many of our clients & community members both in and out of detention centers.

But things are looking bleak.
Immigrants in detention centers are freezing cold and not able to get the word out about what’s going on inside these prisons.

Take Ubaldo's situation for example 👇🏾
Read 10 tweets
Barbs fly at @TedCruz for heading to #Cancun as millions in Texas freeze without power

Still no explanation, confirmation or denial from Cruz or his office.…
.@TedCruz appears to have a ticket for the Thursday afternoon flight home – cutting the #Cancun vacation far too short for a sunburn, yet certainly long enough to get blistered.
#FlyingTed #CancunCruz #texaswinterstorm #TexasFreeze…
Just in from @TedCruz: “With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon."
#CancunCruz #CruzToCancun #Cancun…
Read 7 tweets
#TexasBlackout update, 9:24am Central time: the grid operator @ERCOT_ISO's latest data is STILL reporting over 30 GW of thermal generators offline. ERCOT's 'extreme' generator outage scenario planned for just 14 GW.
Wind power is also at only 1,000 MW, below ~1,500 MW ERCOT planned for in an 'extreme low wind' scenario. So that's not helping either, but a far smaller contribution to supply shortage than the 30,000 MW of thermal plant outages that have persisted since Monday morning.
Demand served now is 44,539 MW, well below ~69,000 MW of peak demand experienced on Sunday in similar temps as today. We can't know the counterfactual of how much demand there would be if supply was adequate, but its probably on order of 20,000 MW higher than current levels.
Read 12 tweets
People in #TexasFreeze are tweeting their power companies regarding empty businesses being provided with steady power, while residents freeze, due to @ERCOT_ISO choosing who can and can't have power.
Don't tell me there isn't a way for @GregAbbott_TX and the Texas legislature to get around them!

Read 4 tweets
We’ve had a total of 4 hours of power in 2 1/2 days. Water is also contaminated across the county as a boil water is in effect. We’ve started taping windows and cardboard to cover the windows. It was 7 degrees last night, and will snow again tonight. #TexasWinterStorm2021
I used to live in Alaska and grew up in Colorado, but never have I experienced such cold with no heat, no clean water, and no food with a 3 1/2 month old baby, my wife, and 5 children - except for when I was homeless and alone. #TexasWinterStorm2021
Thankfully my winter skills from when I was growing up helped. Thanks Mom and Dad for the survival lessons, and thank you to the Native Americans from the Northern Alaskan tribes that trained me when I was 8 years old to survive in these conditions. #TexasWinterStorm2021
Read 11 tweets
This is not correct. The PUCT statement says NOTHING here about gas generators disconnecting. It says that the Commission directed ERCOT to raise electricity prices to $9000/MWh during demand disconnects to reflect the scarcity conditions underway. #TexasFreeze #TexasBlackout
ERCOT runs the state electricity market and operates the generation & distribution system. Early Sunday morning, as generators went offline due to various reasons, ERCOT initiated an emergency and directed distribution utilities to start demand shutoffs (shutting off substations)
The way ERCOT's electricity market is supposed to work, if there is involuntary demand shutoffs like this, the price should be at the maximum allowed price or price cap, which is $9,000/MWh (typical prices are $30-40/MWh for context).
Read 15 tweets
Morning. The #TexasFreeze continues & grid operator ERCOT is still reporting >31,000 MW of thermal generation capacity out as of 9AM CT. Down slightly from a peak of 34,000 MW reported yesterday afternoon (…) but still >40% of thermal capacity in state!
Wind power is currently producing about 4,000 MW, or 2/3 of the ~6,000 MW that ERCOT was counting on wind to contribute during winter peaking events. Solar is coming online now and helping during daytime, exceeding the <300 MW it is counted on for in system planning.
Main story continues to be the failure of thermal power plants -- natural gas, coal, and nuclear plants -- which ERCOT counts on to be there when needed. They've failed. Of about 70,000 MW of thermal plants in ERCOT, ~25-30,000 MW have been out since Sunday night. Huge problem.
Read 17 tweets
In our partisan world, I guess I shouldn't be surprised of the misinformation that is spreading like mad about the situation in TX. Yes, wind turbines that are frozen. No, this isn't the only cause of the outages and high prices. And no, this isn't a "renewables problem".
First, windmills can actually operate down to -30 degrees (see Sweden, Norway, Denmark, etc). Texas chose not to install the necessary equipment probably because it made sense not to invest in something that would be used once every 10-20 years.
Second, there has actually been a LARGER drop in NG, coal and nuclear generation than in wind generation. The NG side of things is due to the fact that we use NG for heating. So when it's cold there is a fight for the NG between heating and electricity.
Read 13 tweets
I feel like #TexasFreeze folks could use some tips from people used to extreme cold. No better source on that than dog sledder @BlairBraverman. Here's her thread
put on layers of down/wool/anything to create pockets of air and pile everyone into one bed.

and make sure to pee. don't waste body heat on a full bladder.
If you're just miserable but know you'll be ok, please check on any elderly or disabled neighbors.
Read 6 tweets

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