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Electric Reliability Council of Texas New Analysis on Wind Power

According to an updated report by experts at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), lost wind power production was just a small part of the massive losses in electric generation that plunged most of the state into darkness during the extreme cold weather in February. While Texas Republicans were quick to blame renewable energy during the storm. They have continuously targeted renewable energy for reform during this year’s legislative session.

A newly updated report on the causes of generator outages during the week of Feb. 14 shows that natural gas plants shutting down or reducing electrification were the most significant cause of the low power supply to the grid. The grid operator included a chart in its first preliminary report on the causes of the power crisis, which was released in early April, which appeared to show power generation losses from wind as only slightly smaller than natural gas generation losses that week.

However, the ability of the state’s wind turbines to produce electricity was used in the study, not what the turbines would have produced if the outages had not occurred. Wind power feeds into the grid based on environmental conditions, and renewable energy sources usually have far higher capacity to generate electricity than what is currently generated on a daily basis; renewable energy generates a lot at times and zero or very little at other times.

Electric Reliability Council of Texas estimates how much wind and solar power will be available to the grid based on detailed weather forecasts. The grid operator estimated that natural gas power losses were many times that of wind production for the week of Feb. 14 in a revised report presented at a Wednesday ERCOT meeting.

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