‘Things will likely get worse’: Cold disrupts power in Texas

Snowplows works to clear the road during a winter storm Sunday Feb. 14 2021 in Oklahoma City. Snow and ice blanketed large swaths of the U.S. on Sunday prompting canceled flights making driving perilous and reaching into areas as far south as Texas

The energy crisis that crippled Texas's power system and sent energy prices soaring to record levels is deepening with at least four million people across the central US taking turns being plunged into darkness to avoid a total collapse of their grids.

The storms knocked out almost half the wind power generation capacity of Texas on Sunday. LNG exports from the US also plummeted after the freeze shut ports and wells, and oil production also took a hit, with Permian oil production plunging by as much as one million barrels a day.

As the Texas power system faces an unprecedented amount of electric generation, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) requested ONCOR and utilities across the state to implement controlled power outages to protect the electric grid. Power will be dropped for one hour, then on one hour throughout the night.

These are the first rolling blackouts caused by cold weather since 2011 in Texas.

Parts of Texas were colder than Alaska, according to the National Weather Service.


President Joe Biden declared an emergency on Monday, unlocking federal assistance to Texas, where temperatures plunged as far as negative 8 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 22 Celsius.

- A rare deep freeze in Texas caused so severe a spike in demand for heat and electricity that on Monday, the state's electric grid operator imposed rotating blackouts that left more than two million customers without power. Houston may pick up as much as 2 inches (5 centimeters) of snow overnight, along with ice and sleet, the National Weather Service said.

Wind farms in West Texas, stricken by weekend ice storms, were particularly hard hit. "It is going to take a while for them to break out of it".

Of the 25 000-plus megawatts of wind-power capacity normally available in Texas, some 12 000 megawatts was out of service as of Sunday morning "due to the winter weather event we're experiencing in Texas", ERCOT spokesperson Leslie Sopko said.

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