Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #txenergy

Most recents (24)

A few takeaways from an eventful #txenergy/#ERCOT day:
- A major coal plant tripped at 7pm during the conservation call.
- Storage picked up the slack in a major way.
- The new backup reserve ECRS was deployed for 5 hrs.
- Prices were in the $1000's/MWh for ~4 hours.
#txlege 1/
At 7:00, when reserves were very tight and a conservation call was in effect, a coal plant went offline.

This happens *a lot* during extreme temperatures. We'll know if a few days which plant it was. Happily for Texans, battery storage filled in the gap... (cont). #txenergy 2/
Storage replaced 75% of the lost coal in minutes.

Here you can see coal plants producing 11,744MW at 6:54pm; 10 minutes later it's down to 11,176. That's a sudden loss of 568MW.

At 6:54pm, batteries were producing 360MW. By 7:04, storage ramped to 783MW, an increase of 423MW. ImageImage
Read 6 tweets
ERCOT has called for conservation and conditions are very tight indeed today. Solar is making a massive, determinative difference, producing 12 gigawatts on peak. #txlege #txenergy #energytwitter… Image
Gas & coal outages are 40% above expected levels, which is actually an improvement from the last few days, but not in the high or extreme range. Demand response from large customers will likely make a big difference. Outages are still unlikely.
The communications from @ERCOT_ISO again are lacking. Should be telling tell people to pre-cool their homes, since there was plenty of capacity this morning and midday. Also, though the conservation call goes from 4 - 8pm, the following hour still looks tight. #txlege
Read 4 tweets
#ERCOT grid update: Things will be tight on the grid today and tomorrow — very tight. ERCOT projecting 82.9 gigawatt peak @ 4pm and a spread between supply and demand of only 1800 megawatts tomorrow around 7pm. #txlege #energytwitter 1/ Image
Solar power is having a massive impact on the grid this summer. Without it, we would be in serious trouble and have a much higher likelihood of outages. #Solar will top out right at or above 12GW and... (cont.) #energytwitter #txenergy Image
... is still producing ~9GW in the hour of tightest reserves. The 3+GW of batteries in ERCOT are mostly providing backup reserves in case of shortage (like when a major power plant goes offline like a nuke did last week) but is also injecting 500MW to the market when needed. 3/ ImageImage
Read 18 tweets
Yesterday at 6:31CT, one of the four nuclear units in Texas stopped producing power. A new fast acting backup reserve (ECRS, which is mostly batteries) stabilized the grid & prevented bigger problems. ERCOT has said nothing about this outside of what's below but... (cont) #txlege ImageImage
...this is potentially a big deal. The public deserves answers about what this means for this week. If it doesn't come back by Tuesday, the probability of rolling outages is higher than it otherwise would be. ERCOT is projecting a margin of only 2,582MW at 7pm Tuesday. Not good. Image
I still think at this point the power will stay on, but it's becoming more important to tell the public to pre-cool homes early in the day & try to use less between 6-8pm. Would be better for this to be systematic and valued, so ERCOT would have another tool to deploy if needed.
Read 6 tweets
85% of customers are without power in Harrison & Marion counties in the midst of a deadly heat wave. Storm last night was devastating; power not expected for a week in some areas. Would be nice if the Governor could stop vetoing bills long enough to declare a disaster. #txlege Image
Shelby County: 75% of customers without power.
Gregg County: >50%
Upshur County: 70%
Camp County: >50%
Franklin County: 50%

This is a major disaster and hardly anyone outside of East Texas is talking about it. #energytwitter #txlege…
Currently 81,000 homes or businesses are without power in @SWEPCoNews' territory in Texas. That's nearly half of their customers. They're requesting mutual aid. #txlege
Read 8 tweets
SB 7, the biggest grid bill of the session, is scheduled to be up next after the current bill. I'll live tweet about it when it starts. Check out the Texas Energy and Power Newsletter about what to look for in today's debates linked in the tweet below. #txlege #energytwitter 1/ Image
Chairman Hunter says let's talk about #SB7, the lobby annuity bill. Points to the gallery and says its the "owner box" up there and it "should be down here," pointing to the gallery. He says it's about, like the Pink Floyd song, "Money."

And so it begins. Buckle up. #txlege
Hunter says the bottom line of this bill "What's the cost to the taxpayer." He says generators don't want anything but "an open check book."


He says he "put a billion dollar limit in here." Hunter says he keeps asking what will it cost? "They can't tell me."
Read 22 tweets
Senate B&C Cmte starting in a minute. Agenda lists only "pending business," but, among other things, they will consider PUC Sunset bill which could become a vehicle for all sorts of amendments. #txlege 1/🧵…
Live video feed here:…
Also up for discussion for today is #HB5, to potentially create a successor economic development program to the one that ended in December last year. Details from @bradj_TX here:
They have paused the hearing while they wait for @CreightonForTX #txlege
Read 27 tweets
Still no "in depth operations review of resource availability" during Elliot from #ERCOT.

No presentation has been made to the @PUCTX about the 14.2GW of thermal generation offline 12/23 at 9am or the 30GW offline at some point 12/22-12/24. #txlege #txenergy #energytwitter 1/
SPP put out some easy to read bar charts, so here's one I made, based off @cohan_ds info (I adjusted the rated capacity based on SARA report minus the mothballed plants).

Does this look like a major improvement to you? #txlege #energytwitter #ERCOT
I detailed the many coal & gas plants offline during Elliot in this thread 12/29. #ERCOT has this info, of cousre. It was posted on their website in raw form in December. It's now two months later, still no comprehensive report or root cause analysis.
Read 6 tweets
The Texas energy-only market is, to reprise Churchill, the worst form of energy market except for every other. It needs to evolve but should not be abandoned.

Big Senate hearing about the future of the #ERCOT market tomorrow. #txlege #txenergy 1/…
In the last 2 yrs, generating companies added 2,000MW of gas plants and they added another 393MW *last month* alone! There are 2,500MW w/ signed interconnections & another 10,000MW in the interconnection process.

There's no need for a PCM or the state to buy gas plants! 2/
Electric generating companies are also adding wind, solar, and storage, making Texas among the top states in all three. That's good! It saves consumers a lot of money: $1 billion a month last year through August! (And lowers pollution, too!)
Read 14 tweets
There is massive potential for more #EnergyEfficiency in Texas. EE reduces customers' bills, increases reliability & creates jobs. There are 158,882 EE workers in Texas, according to an @E4theFuture report. Many more could be created by #txlege. 1/
There's massive potential for more EE jobs. #Texas is among the worst states for #EnergyEfficiency goals, and we're 36th per capita in EE jobs.

Even so, EE is the 3rd largest energy sector in Texas w/ 31,000 EE businesses employing nearly 159,000 Texans. #txlege #txenergy 2/
Over 6 million TX homes are >20 years old & pre-date statewide building codes. We could create jobs and make the grid more reliable and resilient by improving the energy efficiency of these homes which could lower energy use (and bills) by >40%. #energytwitter 3/
Read 7 tweets
About 800,000 Texans are heading into tonight w/out power. It doesn't have to be this way. Distributed energy resources (local generation & storage) along w/ weatherization for homes and buildings could make the grid much more resilient. #txlege 1/…
I often hear people say that local outages aren't problems with the power grid. It the job of policymakers & regulators to make sure *all* of it works and is reliable—not just part of it.

The grid is divided into transmission (ERCOT) & the distribution sides... (cont.) 2/
...but it's all part of the same grid!

DER solutions increase reliability for the *entire grid*. They can participate in wholesale markets increasing reliability there and provide power when there are distribution outages. #txlege #txenergy 3/
Read 12 tweets
Unfortunately, this tweet from last night turned out to be true. 250,000 accounts (probably ~600,000 Texans) are without power right now. About half of those are in Austin/Travis County. Tree limbs are falling all over the place in my South Austin neighborhood. #txenergy #wxtx 1/ ImageImage
Check on vulnerable friends, family & neighbors. Also, close blinds & curtains, put towels or blankets (makeshift insulation) wherever you feel cold air coming in, and then heat your home a few degrees warmer than normal. That way if you lose power, you'll stay warmer longer. 2/
I wouldn't normally advise that but, with temps in the 20s or 30s and little need for secondary resistance heat, demand is fairly low in ERCOT (62GW now compared to 74GW on Dec. 23) so a little extra warming of homes this morning won't cause problems. #txenergy 3/ Image
Read 7 tweets
The @PUCTX is about to recommend a direction for a new market design called Performance Credit Mechanism (PCM) (aka Pretty much a Capacity Market). It won't fix the problems with the grid but it will cost consumers dearly. PUC has an open meeting on the PCM today. #txlege 1/
The biggest problems with it: it won't solve either of the biggest challenges facing the grid: long cold snaps and summer nights. The "credits" given to generators will be random and impossible to predict. You can't build a power plant on a credit generated at random hours.
Bank of America's energy analysts put out a note this week about the immanent adoption of the PCM: "We see the latest developments as a positive for incumbent IPPs." That's independent power producers like @nrgenergy, Vistra, Constellation & Exelon who will make a killing.
Read 68 tweets
"Over a two-day period in the run-up to Christmas, the state’s gas processing capacity fell 34%, according to Wood Mackenzie, an energy data & analytics firm."

We were told, wrongly, after Uri the only problems w/ gas were bc of power outages. 1/ #txlege…
There were no power outages but gas processing dropped 34%!

*At least* 2GW worth of power plants didn't work due to lack of gas.

This is a massive warning that the reforms from the last #txlege session haven't worked & better regulation is necessary to protect the public. 2/
“It doesn’t give me much confidence that we addressed the gas supply issues we faced w/ Winter Storm Uri,” said @joshdr83, a lead author of @EnergyUT's post-mortem on the blackouts.

Me neither. 3/
#energytwitter #txenergy
Read 4 tweets
Failure is a teacher but we seem to not be learning our lessons. Lots of repeat failures from Uri during Elliott:
- Permian gas output⬇️3.4bcf/day (>20%)
- Gas distribution failed many Texans
- Gas (& coal) plants had tons of problems which I detail in the 🧵below. 1/
First, the gas system as @MichaelEWebber put it so well, showed its "flimsiness" again. Nationally outages were 16%. In the Permian it was 22%. Not good. To lose that much gas production with no snow & ice is not a good sign to say the least. #txenergy 2/…
More on power plants later in the thread, but note that >40% of the coal plants in the state were offline at some point. Coal is costlier than wind & solar and it literally kills people, so if it's not there in extremes, why do we have it?!
Read 19 tweets
A few #TXenergy takeaways as we thaw:
1) The grid's still vulnerable. #ERCOT CEO requested an emergency order yesterday, writing ERCOT “may not be able to avoid the need to curtail firm load.” That is, outage risk was real. He cited “natural gas delivery limitations.” #txlege 1/
Heard about this from @shelbywebb, see below. The language from ERCOT CEO Vegas was clear: "the loss of power to homes and local businesses in the areas that may be affected by curtailments presents a far greater risk to public health and safety."…
2) Communications are still terrible. Not one state official held a press conference or did a media availability to inform the public of this letter or why it was needed. This from @adelauchida was a common experience among journalists yesterday.
Read 18 tweets
Grid update: Demand forecast is much lower than last night but ERCOT missed its forecast by 23% last night so that's cold comfort. A miss that bad tonight & conditions would be tight. Reports of gas supply ⬇️ 8bcf overall, ~3bcf in the Permian. Gas/coal outages ~9.5GW. #txlege 1/
Add it all up & still low chance of outages tonight, though higher than last night, esp. given the massive demand miss. #ERCOT and @PUCTX simply have to get better at forecasting demand and improving #energyefficiency. More on that here: 2/…
I said coming into this the two biggest wild card were power demand & gas supply. The drops in gas output weren't enough to cause problems yet. I don't think this level of reduction would cause outages. Keepin an eye on it though. #energytwitter #natgas 3/
Read 9 tweets
Don't forget that estimation for peak Uri demand was by ERCOT, which is off by ~8GW tonight. Note that @AndrewDessler and student Jangho Lee published research estimating Uri demand at ~82GW. These forecast misses are a major problem. #txlege 1/…
I said before the storm the 2 biggest wild cards were forecast misses & nat gas supply. If natgas craters due to the freeze, tomorrow night could be problematic. The risk of outages, though still low, is higher now that before bc of the big forecast miss.
This was Recommendation 16 from FERC and NERC. #ERCOT & @PUCTX will need to answer questions about why this forecast was so far off. Did they "add staff with specialized knowledge of how weather impacts load including supplemental electric heating?" 3/… Image
Read 10 tweets
Why I don't think there will be power outages this week, a thread:
1) It'll be ~10° warmer than Uri w/no snow/ice so:
- peak demand will be lower
- shouldn’t be nearly as many issues for gas supply & power plants
2) Peak demand @ 10am instead of overnight
#txlege #txwx 1/
Peak demand forecast is 69.5GW. Peak during Uri was between 76-82GW. However, the power went out in the early morning hours of Feb 15 at ~69.5GW, so that is very high demand. *But* the peak hitting at 10am instead of 1am is a massive difference. #txenergy 2/
There is little to no expected snow or ice so at 10am:
1) we'll have lots of solar production (more on that below) and
2) workers can get to sites where there are freezing issues. In many cases, they couldn't during the Uri #texasblackouts 3/
Read 16 tweets
The @PUCTX unveiled their draft biennial report to #txlege (previously the "Scope of Competition" report). In the section on retail competition, they fail to note that 2 companies own ~80% of the retail market. Seems like an important omission, no?

Avg rate is 15-17c. #txlege Image
@PUCTX also fails to inform the legislature that 4 companies own 65% of the generating plants in ERCOT.

PUCT notes "robust stakeholder process." Stakeholders/members of ERCOT will lose their voting rights in an ERCOT board vote this coming Tuesday. #txlege #txenergy Image
Read 4 tweets
"Residential demand is the low hanging fruit in Texas... For every dollar spent, the benefit reaped was roughly $3.80 in 2021...demand-side fixes would take less time & money compared with building new gas fired power plants." #txlege #txenergy 1/4…
"Texas households tend to use electric resistance heating, which involves an electricity-intensive system of warming up coils & then blowing air over them (much like hair dryers). Heat pumps, which use refrigerants, require much less electricity." 2/4
"@ACEEEdc estimates that implementing a set of residential energy efficiency & demand response measures in Texas would offset about 11.4 GW of winter peak load." But we haven't increased #energyefficiency at all since Uri!
#txlege #energytwitter 3/4 Image
Read 4 tweets
It’s been a while since I’ve used Twitter to dunk on a Bad Take I saw on LinkedIn, but I submitted my grades this afternoon so here you go: (clears throat) #renewables cause higher electricity prices because they are intermittent.” (1/9) #energytwitter
Let’s pick this apart. Renewables are indeed intermittent (to quote Billie Eilish, “duh”). Battery storage is $$$ but other forms (eg pumped hydro) are cheap. (2/9)
Renewable generation is often curtailed due to lack of transmission capacity, and it can help out in times of high demand if we could expand transmission. (3/9)
Read 9 tweets
The Senate weighed in on the grid & the @PUCTX's proposed market design changes last week. Today, the House State Affairs Cmte meets to ask questions of the PUC, #ERCOT, the Independent Market Monitor & industry. I'll tweet some highlights here. #txlege 1/…
@PUCTX Livestream is here and the first panel has just started.…

Another good summary of the events of last week from @rtoinsider and @tkleckner1 here…
Chair Lake starts by saying it was "misinformation" that extremes weren't included in the study. They in fact did not include Uri.

Here's the quote from the study: "The 1980-2019 sample does not include the extreme cold weather event caused by Winter Storm Uri in 2021... (cont.)
Read 89 tweets
The Texas Senate dealt a major setback to the efforts of the PUC Chair & some generators attempting to redesign the #ERCOT market, telling them to hold off. The PUCT's biggest mistake? They never defined the problems they're trying to solve. 1/🧵
Unfortunately, it seems that #txlege is repeating that mistake. I think there are three major problems we need to solve: (1) prolonged extreme winter storms (2) hot summer evenings & (3) cost.

*There is no one thing that will solve all of these problems*…
We need to identify & diagnose the problem correctly. Acc'g to @FERC & @NERC_Official, during Uri, Texas had massive demand (spiked by inefficient heat) & frozen gas supply & power plants (made catastrophic by lack of effective regulation). #txenergy 3/
Read 12 tweets

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