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Old 02-19-2021, 12:26 PM   #1
Burnadell
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Default How is Ercot to blame?

We all are upset with Ercot, but, it seems to me that Ercot simply manages the flow of energy on the grid. When there is a shortage of energy coming into the grid, what choices do they have? I am not trying to deflect criricism from them, but the problem appears to be a shortage of power due to generator plants being compromised because of the unprecidented freezing weather. The coal powered plant closings obviously contributed to the shortage of generated power.

Can someone (Smeone? ) splain what I am missing here? Does Ercot really deserve all the criticism or is it just knee jerk reactions to blame them?
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:32 PM   #2
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The narrative is to blame ERCOT to point out what an abysmal failure the Texas power gird has become (lie) to force Texas to join the rest of the nation.

JMHO
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatlander View Post
The narrative is to blame ERCOT to point out what an abysmal failure the Texas power gird has become (lie) to force Texas to join the rest of the nation.

JMHO
Well, obviously we have failed tring to go it alone.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:33 PM   #4
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Yes, I believe they do. Like you said, they control the electric coming on the grid. Believe they could have done a better job at dispersion of what electric they had. People that were cut off directly from ERCOT for days is unacceptable.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:35 PM   #5
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I don't blame them for the outages, But them trying to make this political with the "green energy" vs. fossil fuel and their 2 top dogs do not live in Texas , I personally find unacceptable.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:35 PM   #6
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I don't know but I think it was a systematic failure ranging from cultural demands for unreliable weather based energy (wind and sun), to reducing coal, natural gas, and nuclear capability, to dramatic increase in population.

I also just found out that ERCOT board members don't live in Texas. Honestly, that kind of ticks me off.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:39 PM   #7
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Got this from Mark Allen our Cibolo Disrict 5 Rep.
So what is going on in Texas?
Background:
Texas has its own electricity grid managed by ERCOT. This grid was put into place to avoid federal regulations/oversight. It privatized electricity. This power grid does not link to any other grid and does not share or receive resources from other grids like every other federally regulated grid does.
ERCOT has a board of 15 people. 5 don’t even live in Texas, including the chair. ERCOT is overseen by the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC). PUC board members are appointed by our governor.
Individual utility companies basically have a monopoly in different areas (example: in Bexar county you can only use CPS Energy).
Current issues:
ERCOT, according to their 2021 winter forecast GROSSLY underestimated the worst case scenario by LEAVING OUT THE 2011 data points.
Only 94 of 600 generators were winter weatherized this year.
Wind turbines were not weatherized at all. These are being blamed, but even with the weatherization issues they are still producing more than anticipated.
ERCOT willingly deleted the 2011 data points so they could sell off excess energy (natural gas) and make a profit.
When offered the contracts back at a premium, ERCOT refused in order to keep their money. They instead announced mandatory “rolling blackouts” with no end date.
The CEO of ERCOT said on Tuesday night he had no idea when power would be restored but claimed his agency managed to avoid an even bigger catastrophe by switching it off.
More than 3million people in Texas are still without power in subzero temperatures for the fourth day in a row.
Most egregiously, the PUC and ERCOT met Monday night in the midst of millions of people having no power to vote ON A RATE HIKE. Their rationale was “there is increased demand and limited supply.” It is their fault there is limited supply.
In addition to no electricity, many of us have no water.
The outages have crippled water pressure which also threatens drinking water supply. Millions are without water completely.
People are also being told to boil water before they drink it or use it for cooking because it is no longer safe, due to the shortage in power plants. Many can't because they do not have power - and stores where they could buy bottled water are closed or empty.
The names and bios of ERCOT board members were taken down from their website because the "board members and executive team were receiving threats." This is what they made a priority, not the people freezing to death.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:43 PM   #8
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It is really hard to decipher the facts and opinions. There are acute failures and long term strategic failures that need to be considered. The following is my opinion and pea brained understanding so take it with a grain of salt.

1) ERCOT EXEC board memeber are not residents of Texas and do not have to live with their decisions

2) Long term/strategic- ERCOT was the decider on increasing green energy that ultimately lead to the demise of coal facilities. Because of artificially propping up wind/solar via subsidies (some can operate breakeven at $0/unit) they made impossible for coal to operate competitively. Consumers have seen 0 reduction in cost due to subsidies.

3) long term- ERCOT opted to invest in wind/solar rather than winterizing fossil fuel based plants

4) ERCOT factored unreliable and un scalable wind/solar as a significant portion of Texas’ base power needs

5)ERCOT elected to cut power to areas of west Texas producing nat gas causing instrument failure that reduced natural gas capacity for the entire state that not only impacted those with electrical sourced heat but also nat gas furnace individuals.

6) ERCOT knew or should have known that the grid could not support the potential demand and should have sounded the alarm bells and encouraged rationing prior to the end of the weekend when things went from bad to worse
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:49 PM   #9
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The privatized electrical grid allows us to have relatively lower prices for electricity compared to the rest of the US. However, they can adjust the price when they want as long as it is approved by state government.

There are to many hands in the cookie jar with most of them believing it could never get that cold in Texas to affect all of it at once. Not winterizing the generators and turbines is an ignorant thing to do.

It's like most things, money rules and they'll cut corners anywhere it will save a buck for them to make 2 bucks.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Playa View Post
It is really hard to decipher the facts and opinions. There are acute failures and long term strategic failures that need to be considered. The following is my opinion and pea brained understanding so take it with a grain of salt.

1) ERCOT EXEC board memeber are not residents of Texas and do not have to live with their decisions

2) Long term/strategic- ERCOT was the decider on increasing green energy that ultimately lead to the demise of coal facilities. Because of artificially propping up wind/solar via subsidies (some can operate breakeven at $0/unit) they made impossible for coal to operate competitively. Consumers have seen 0 reduction in cost due to subsidies.

3) long term- ERCOT opted to invest in wind/solar rather than winterizing fossil fuel based plants

4) ERCOT factored unreliable and un scalable wind/solar as a significant portion of Texasí base power needs

5)ERCOT elected to cut power to areas of west Texas producing nat gas causing instrument failure that reduced natural gas capacity for the entire state that not only impacted those with electrical sourced heat but also nat gas furnace individuals.

6) ERCOT knew or should have known that the grid could not support the potential demand and should have sounded the alarm bells and encouraged rationing prior to the end of the weekend when things went from bad to worse
Yes this right here.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:51 PM   #11
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I don't understand what it matters if the board members don't live in Texas, i have been seeing that comment a lot, not only here but a lot of places. It is not uncommon for members of a board to not live in a state where the headquarters are. I know people want someone to blame when something goes wrong, but what does where they live really have to do w the issues at hand?
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:51 PM   #12
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I think you are pot on. ERCOT did what they needed to to prevent a major outage and will be beat over the head for it. US is a becoming the biggest pot of whiners on the planet. Maybe too easy and first world living are spoiling us to the point no one wants to plan for bad times. If some foreign enemy (or a sun solar flare) sets off a well placed EMP most are all screwed!

Start planning now to be able to live for a WHOLE WEEK without power and water. Simple things like having a NG or LP fireplace and gas cook stove installed. Be able to hook up a small generator to run your fan to mix the warm air thru your house. Have a few little buddy heaters or propane heaters and several 20# bottles of propane. I had enough to supply 3 houses. Heaters are cheap in the summer or in the spring clearance sales.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:55 PM   #13
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The following was posted on Facebook by a guy I know who has been involved in the power industry for over 45 years:

We may have been closer to an ERCOT wide blackout than has been reported. I had heard that coal plants tripping off line was an issue. While I am not privy to the list of plants that tripped, I did reach out to some folks in the industry that might have some info. I had a friend tell me that their coal plant tripped off line because of low frequency (usually set around 95% of 60 hertz). This happens to protect the generator from damage and is done automatically with no human intervention. This only happens when there is a lot more load in the system (i.e. ERCOT) than available generation to meet it. If all that is true, we should be thanking ERCOT for pulling our cart out of the ditch and saving our bacon (so to speak).

Soon after the grid (a term referring to the transmission and distribution power lines that bring power from the generator to the end use customer) began to experience problems, ERCOT began to issue load interruption orders. Almost immediately, wind and solar power was identified by some as the problem. While renewables may have been a contributing factor to the problem, they do not appear to be the primary cause.

I do believe that subsidies for renewables are a real issue in our society. Subsidies artificially incent certain actions and investments to obtain an end. While renewables are beneficial and have a place in out electric system, we must fully understand and balance the detriments to the electric system reliability as well as the benefits to the environment. Contrary to the Governor's assertion that we (Texans) have made those calls, at best I would say that government in the form of the legislature, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and special interest groups have made or influenced where we are today in ERCOT with renewables.

So many water plants were tripped of line due to rolling brownouts. Many Texans were without (and are still without) water because of a supply issue and not because their pipes had busted. ERCOT does not make those calls, your local transmission provider does. ERCOT issues an order to transmission companies to reduce a certain amount of load and how to do it is the transmission company's decision, not ERCOT's. My personal opinion is that water supply is an essential service and should have some form of uninterruptible power source to keep it available at all times. I hope this becomes and issue at the forefront of the discussions from the recent events.

Another major contributor to our calamity was that numerous gas plants tripped off line due to low gas pressure which is a gas supply problem and not a gas plant or ERCOT problem. ERCOT does not regulate or control natural gas pipelines. The Texas Railroad Commission does.

While it seems ERCOT was doing what they should have been doing in these cases, the fact is that there are other issues where ERCOT is most likely culpable. I have not personally seen the list of plants that were not available because they were in outage which means they were down to do routine maintenance. I have heard there were a significant number of plants unavailable due to planned outages which ERCOT has to approve those. If this proves to be accurate, then this could have been a major contributor and ERCOT certainly had influence if not control over that.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:55 PM   #14
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Burandell, see Playa's response. The problem is years and years of poor decisions by ERCOT that put our grid into a position where we were "seconds from catastrophic failure and months of blackouts", using ERCOT's own words.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
I don't understand what it matters if the board members don't live in Texas, i have been seeing that comment a lot, not only here but a lot of places. It is not uncommon for members of a board to not live in a state where the headquarters are. I know people want someone to blame when something goes wrong, but what does where they live really have to do w the issues at hand?
Because their decisions do not impact them and they have no vested interest.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianL View Post
I think you are pot on. ERCOT did what they needed to to prevent a major outage and will be beat over the head for it. US is a becoming the biggest pot of whiners on the planet. Maybe too easy and first world living are spoiling us to the point no one wants to plan for bad times. If some foreign enemy (or a sun solar flare) sets off a well placed EMP most are all screwed!

Start planning now to be able to live for a WHOLE WEEK without power and water. Simple things like having a NG or LP fireplace and gas cook stove installed. Be able to hook up a small generator to run your fan to mix the warm air thru your house. Have a few little buddy heaters or propane heaters and several 20# bottles of propane. I had enough to supply 3 houses. Heaters are cheap in the summer or in the spring clearance sales.
You can't be serious. Who put us in that position? SMH...
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:01 PM   #17
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I have also learned that we had some gas units sitting idle. ERCOT dictates to run or not run. When it was decided to fire them up, it was a little to late.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnadell View Post
We all are upset with Ercot, but, it seems to me that Ercot simply manages the flow of energy on the grid. When there is a shortage of energy coming into the grid, what choices do they have? I am not trying to deflect criricism from them, but the problem appears to be a shortage of power due to generator plants being compromised because of the unprecidented freezing weather. The coal powered plant closings obviously contributed to the shortage of generated power.

Can someone (Smeone? ) splain what I am missing here? Does Ercot really deserve all the criticism or is it just knee jerk reactions to blame them?
For reference (check date of publication): https://www.chron.com/opinion/outloo...ty-4301693.php

ERCOT controls the pricing mechanisms investors use to determine investment in the power sector. That mechanism is a mathematical equation that incorporates supply and demand. The published future prices are also dependent on the function. Markets need prices not solely for allocation but for future investment decisions. If this price is controlled by a central authority that is not a market. That is central planning.

You can ask, "Why have private entrepreneurs not winterized their equipment?" But then you'd also need to ask, "Why have they not also expanded capacity?"

Price controls have never worked and they never will. The result is always a shortage. Its fairly simple.

Last edited by Hayek'sPupil; 02-19-2021 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:12 PM   #19
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To appease the greenies and to get government money we converted to much over to green energy. See the ramp up in Natural Gas usage to meet the demand?

At the same time, they have not kept up with the needed upgrades and maintenance on the power grid needed to withstand a natural disaster like this.

That being said, windmills will work in extreme temperatures, just not the ones installed in Texas.

This whole ordeal could have been handled better simply by ensuring that the rolling blackouts covered everyone. Cutting grids off and leaving them off for days in freezing temperatures is not a solution.

We have yet to hear what the loss of life is due to the storm. On top of people dying from fire and CO poisoning, we are likely to hear stories soon about people freezing to death.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:13 PM   #20
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Our power goes out every time it's too hot or too cold.
I don't care who's to blame, but our grid system is too fragile and it's shameful and unacceptable.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WItoTX View Post
You can't be serious. Who put us in that position? SMH...
Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature

And Act of God. Some things you just don't try protect on a governmental scale IMO.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:18 PM   #22
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Anyone know how much the board members make? Where does the pay come from? Do they have other jobs? Are there conflicts of interest with being on the board and maybe working for an energy provider? There is a reason the names were pulled down.

I bet Burnadell could dig up some of the answers.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:19 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarGuy View Post
Anyone know how much the board members make? Where does the pay come from? Do they have other jobs? Are there conflicts of interest with being on the board and maybe working for an energy provider? There is a reason the names were pulled down.

I bet Burnadell could dig up some of the answers.
I think they are unpaid volunteers I think that is part of the 501 articles. I know my board is volunteer and ZERO pay. I do carry insurance for them in case they are sued.

Last edited by BrianL; 02-19-2021 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:23 PM   #24
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http://www.ercot.com/about/governance/directors

Go search
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:26 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianL View Post
I think they are unpaid volunteers I think that is part of the 503 articles. I know my board is volunteer and ZERO pay. I do carry insurance for them in case they are sued.
$883,000
Publicly available 2018 tax filings for ERCOT show multiple board members received five-figure and six-figure compensation despite dedicating between five and 15 hours a week to the agency. Magness was given total compensation of over $883,000 that year, the filings show
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:27 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianL View Post
I think you are pot on. ERCOT did what they needed to to prevent a major outage and will be beat over the head for it. US is a becoming the biggest pot of whiners on the planet. Maybe too easy and first world living are spoiling us to the point no one wants to plan for bad times. If some foreign enemy (or a sun solar flare) sets off a well placed EMP most are all screwed!

Start planning now to be able to live for a WHOLE WEEK without power and water. Simple things like having a NG or LP fireplace and gas cook stove installed. Be able to hook up a small generator to run your fan to mix the warm air thru your house. Have a few little buddy heaters or propane heaters and several 20# bottles of propane. I had enough to supply 3 houses. Heaters are cheap in the summer or in the spring clearance sales.
That may work for you but not for everyone. The elderly, single moms living at poverty level......I could make a list a mile long.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:30 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
I don't understand what it matters if the board members don't live in Texas, i have been seeing that comment a lot, not only here but a lot of places. It is not uncommon for members of a board to not live in a state where the headquarters are. I know people want someone to blame when something goes wrong, but what does where they live really have to do w the issues at hand?
Rick, as unpopular as our opinion is, I have to agree. I have researched Peter Crampton, who now lives in San Diego, CA. He is an expert in electricty markets and is Vice Chairman. Other board members also have some degree of expertise in the industry. People only need to check the Board members of the power generation utility companies in Texas to see that many, if not most, do not live in Texas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WItoTX View Post
Burandell, see Playa's response. The problem is years and years of poor decisions by ERCOT that put our grid into a position where we were "seconds from catastrophic failure and months of blackouts", using ERCOT's own words.
ERCOT does not make INVESTMENTS in energy. They own NO energy assets. They manage the flow.

I am not trying to argue with anyone, but I try to be objective in my reasoning. I think most of the blame should be on the power generation utilities who caved to the renewable energy folks and the politians who caved; thus coal powered plants being closed and torn down.

It has been reported that we (Texas) was close to our grid completely failing several times. Fortunately, they were able to keep that from happening by shutting down parts of the grid to save the integrity of the whole system. Not a popular decision with those who have been out of power for an extended time. There is no EASY solution, except we need more reliable power GENERATION . The next question begs...how much are we willing to see our electric bills increase for a backup sytem that may only be needed every 40-100 years? I don't have the answer.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:30 PM   #28
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:31 PM   #29
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I'm all for incompetence being exposed and addressed but this was also a brutal weather anomaly across a large region and population neither developed nor conditioned for weather conditions like these. I would personally rather let all the facts come out from standpoint of what would/should be done different next time. Then and to the extent there was gross negligence and/or incompetence - address on the basis of facts and reality, not politics.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:31 PM   #30
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Not to mention all the generation plants that were sitting dormant and ERCOT never contacted any of these plants to ramp up generation to supply more power to the grids after realizing all the wind and solar farms had failed. These solar / wind farms were too heavily relied upon to supply the grid, which they had to have known since they manage it. The wind / solar is the most expensive and the least reliable. Not saying ERCOT is 100% to blame but some of the fault lies at their feet.

FUN FACT: Their 2018 990 form reflects over $80MM in compensation and salaries. Mr. Google says have 235 employees.

Last edited by Rex; 02-19-2021 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:32 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by ttechdallas View Post
I'm all for incompetence being exposed and addressed but this was also a brutal weather anomaly across a large region and population neither developed nor conditioned for weather conditions like these. I would personally rather let all the facts come out from standpoint of what would/should be done different next time. Then and to the extent there was gross negligence and/or incompetence - address on the basis of facts and reality, not politics.
Yep.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:38 PM   #32
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I still blame Ted Cruz. If he hadn't gone to Mexico this never would have happened.








:-)
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:40 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by sotx View Post
$883,000
Publicly available 2018 tax filings for ERCOT show multiple board members received five-figure and six-figure compensation despite dedicating between five and 15 hours a week to the agency. Magness was given total compensation of over $883,000 that year, the filings show
Isn't Magness the CEO? I would guess his pay was for being the CEO not being a board member.

Last edited by BrianL; 02-19-2021 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:41 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddox View Post
To appease the greenies and to get government money we converted to much over to green energy. See the ramp up in Natural Gas usage to meet the demand?

At the same time, they have not kept up with the needed upgrades and maintenance on the power grid needed to withstand a natural disaster like this.

That being said, windmills will work in extreme temperatures, just not the ones installed in Texas.

This whole ordeal could have been handled better simply by ensuring that the rolling blackouts covered everyone. Cutting grids off and leaving them off for days in freezing temperatures is not a solution.

We have yet to hear what the loss of life is due to the storm. On top of people dying from fire and CO poisoning, we are likely to hear stories soon about people freezing to death.
----------------------------------------------------------

A very interesting chart, I bet it matches the chart from severe summers here, which we have not had recently.

What ticks me off is that we aren't more nuclear. The technology is much more advanced than it used to be and its basically unlimited.
And with our current electrical supply the way it is, and like someone else said earlier, with the huge influx of people to this state, many of them will NOT or DON'T follow any type of moderation on their electric usage. I know several people personally that, in the summer, they run their A/C down in the 60s and leave every light ON in their house, then at night they have 3 flood lights on each corner of their house, ON all night. Then when the snow hits, they crank up their electric heat to 80 or 85 and run floor heaters too. It just blows me away.
And it all adds up very quickly.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:41 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Burnadell View Post

ERCOT does not make INVESTMENTS in energy. They own NO energy assets. They manage the flow.
Isnít the flow of energy the problem here? Maybe the reliability of that energy flow?

Texas produces plenty of energy seems like we should have keep more reserves than we did? Or paid the going rate when we needed it?


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Old 02-19-2021, 01:46 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Hayek'sPupil View Post
For reference (check date of publication): https://www.chron.com/opinion/outloo...ty-4301693.php

ERCOT controls the pricing mechanisms investors use to determine investment in the power sector. That mechanism is a mathematical equation that incorporates supply and demand. The published future prices are also dependent on the function. Markets need prices not solely for allocation but for future investment decisions. If this price is controlled by a central authority that is not a market. That is central planning.

You can ask, "Why have private entrepreneurs not winterized their equipment?" But then you'd also need to ask, "Why have they not also expanded capacity?"

Price controls have never worked and they never will. The result is always a shortage. Its fairly simple.
Listen to this man.

Also read this article from may 2017, https://www.utilitydive.com/news/nrg...-model/442530/
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:48 PM   #37
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That may work for you but not for everyone. The elderly, single moms living at poverty level......I could make a list a mile long.
When the haves prepare the have nots have more access to those critical services. 4-10000 sq ft homes running heat strips to heat them take a huge amount of electricity. There are whole cities full of them like Southlake. I'm not saying is is wrong, but maybe the regs should come on the construction side.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:49 PM   #38
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I don't understand what it matters if the board members don't live in Texas, i have been seeing that comment a lot, not only here but a lot of places. It is not uncommon for members of a board to not live in a state where the headquarters are. I know people want someone to blame when something goes wrong, but what does where they live really have to do w the issues at hand?

How would you feel if someone from out of state was making choices on TP&WDís board for your wildlife?


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Old 02-19-2021, 01:54 PM   #39
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How would you feel if someone from out of state was making choices on TP&WDís board for your wildlife?


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I am almost certain that people from out of state are making decisions on your electricity utility provider.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:55 PM   #40
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How would you feel if someone from out of state was making choices on TP&WD’s board for your wildlife?


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Originally Posted by batmaninja View Post
Isn’t the flow of energy the problem here? Maybe the reliability of that energy flow?

Texas produces plenty of energy seems like we should have keep more reserves than we did? Or paid the going rate when we needed it?


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How do we "keep" electricty reserves?


That is my whole point. I am not versed on the problem, but it seems that SUPPLY of energy was the problem, and ERCOT had to disperse a limited supply with PEAK demand. If they had not shot off parts of the grid, the whole grid could have collapsed (based on what I read)

Here are two posts from Jerp's thread that is informative:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big C View Post
Long story short if the grid collapses, bringing it back up is more than just closing things in. Generation ties have to be matched voltage and frequency wise. Stations are ran off of battery stacks so that in case of a station going dark you can still operate equipment and go in. The longer the outage the higher chance you lose your dc system and then you can’t close anything. The dc system is required so that you can protect the equipment and lines via relays. Lots of the smaller stations would take a while to get up and running with the batteries shelled. A lot more to it but yes it would take a while to get the grid going again if collapsed system wide. There would be loading issues just like we all experienced where you can’t just bring everything online at once. You have to do it slowly so load stabilizes. Bring too much on too fast it will collapse again.

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Yes the only way is load shedding. The relays offer load protection but you are still cutting load off. The issue is as cold as it got. There was way more load demand than normal. They did not have generation to meet the load. Also the equipment (xfmrs, lines, etc..) are built to handle a set amount of load continuously. Over loading a xfmr can mean catastrophic failure. And cause cascading problems. Only way to fix a system that has too much demand is find more generation or cut load or move load around if possible.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:56 PM   #41
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Somebody please correct me if I'm in error...

20-25,000 MW, approx. 25% of the potential energy of the entire grid, is dependent upon wind/solar. Neither are considered "baseload" energy sources....reliable energy sources.

It's my understanding that "baseload" IS your TRUE potential energy within the grid.....ie. reliable.

It's my understanding that wind/solar, for whatever reason, crashed to 2% of its potential. So effectively that means the grid was reduced to barely 75% effectiveness BEFORE idiotic lack of prep. etc created multitudes of other issues.

Not to mention the multiple closings of baseload energy sources, coal/NG plants, over the past decade.

There are several in this thread who are obviously knowledgeable in regards to this mess, PLEASE feel free to correct anything I've gotten wrong. I've done quite a bit of due diligence on this mess, but, it's SO politicized that it's hard to tell truth from fiction.

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Old 02-19-2021, 01:56 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Burnadell View Post
Rick, as unpopular as our opinion is, I have to agree. I have researched Peter Crampton, who now lives in San Diego, CA. He is an expert in electricty markets and is Vice Chairman. Other board members also have some degree of expertise in the industry. People only need to check the Board members of the power generation utility companies in Texas to see that many, if not most, do not live in Texas.



ERCOT does not make INVESTMENTS in energy. They own NO energy assets. They manage the flow.

I am not trying to argue with anyone, but I try to be objective in my reasoning. I think most of the blame should be on the power generation utilities who caved to the renewable energy folks and the politians who caved; thus coal powered plants being closed and torn down.

It has been reported that we (Texas) was close to our grid completely failing several times. Fortunately, they were able to keep that from happening by shutting down parts of the grid to save the integrity of the whole system. Not a popular decision with those who have been out of power for an extended time. There is no EASY solution, except we need more reliable power GENERATION . The next question begs...how much are we willing to see our electric bills increase for a backup sytem that may only be needed every 40-100 years? I don't have the answer.
This is how I see it. Being privatized, and a commodity, power prices have basically been a race to the bottom. The power generation utilities were the ones who made the decisions to not winterize their generators. I am guessing it was simply because of cost with only a small % of being needed to recoup. Until winterizing becomes a regulation (I am usually against regs, but some are necessary and good), this could happen again. I hope people realize that the GOVT. will not always be able to help you when you need it most, and that relying on the GOVT. is a bad idea. I for one will be taking even extra precautions as a result of this experience (though I made it through much better than most with the preparations I had already made). Hopefully others realize that when it hits the fan, self reliance and forethought planning for contingencies is the only way through.

For those asking how we got here, I refer to the below quote:

"Hard times build hard men. Hard men make easy times. Easy times make soft men. Soft men make hard times."

We have had it pretty easy the last 50-75 years and we all know the type of men/women we have as leaders (broadly speaking)...
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:59 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayek'sPupil View Post
For reference (check date of publication): https://www.chron.com/opinion/outloo...ty-4301693.php

ERCOT controls the pricing mechanisms investors use to determine investment in the power sector. That mechanism is a mathematical equation that incorporates supply and demand. The published future prices are also dependent on the function. Markets need prices not solely for allocation but for future investment decisions. If this price is controlled by a central authority that is not a market. That is central planning.

You can ask, "Why have private entrepreneurs not winterized their equipment?" But then you'd also need to ask, "Why have they not also expanded capacity?"

Price controls have never worked and they never will. The result is always a shortage. Its fairly simple.
Good points for sure. Our electricty provider (SWEPCO) has to apply for approval to raise their prices and must show good cause.
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Old 02-19-2021, 02:03 PM   #44
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Burnadell said "The next question begs...how much are we willing to see our electric bills increase for a backup system that may only be needed every 40-100 years? I don't have the answer."

Good question. The cost of winterizing will be passed on to all of us and the squawking about higher bills will be deafening
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Old 02-19-2021, 02:03 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by TxBowHntr View Post
This is how I see it. Being privatized, and a commodity, power prices have basically been a race to the bottom. The power generation utilities were the ones who made the decisions to not winterize their generators. I am guessing it was simply because of cost with only a small % of being needed to recoup. Until winterizing becomes a regulation (I am usually against regs, but some are necessary and good), this could happen again. I hope people realize that the GOVT. will not always be able to help you when you need it most, and that relying on the GOVT. is a bad idea. I for one will be taking even extra precautions as a result of this experience (though I made it through much better than most with the preparations I had already made). Hopefully others realize that when it hits the fan, self reliance and forethought planning for contingencies is the only way through.

For those asking how we got here, I refer to the below quote:

"Hard times build hard men. Hard men make easy times. Easy times make soft men. Soft men make hard times."

We have had it pretty easy the last 50-75 years and we all know the type of men/women we have as leaders (broadly speaking)...
This. I’ve chewed a few family members out because of their complaints about how hard things have been lately. They need to look back at history and our grandparents generation. Great Depression, WWII rationing, dust bowl, etc.

Government can be blamed for creating a nation looking for a easy hand out, but at the end of the day your safety and your families safety is in your hands, not the governments. Those that care for their families AND THEIR NEIGHBORS will do just fine.
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Old 02-19-2021, 02:04 PM   #46
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I will admit that I didn't read the entire thread, but doing a form of planning for a living, I've come to realize you cannot build the church for Easter Sunday, meaning, you just can't plan for worst case scenario.

It is like the deductible on your insurance (or your premium). You have to accept a certain level of risk and this is no different. It was a once-in-a-lifetime storm.

It's the **** weather's fault.

Many people that want less government in their lives are now screaming for more help from the government. Just be prepared to take care of yourself, or pay the extra taxes for the government to do it.

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Old 02-19-2021, 02:05 PM   #47
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I get it... someone needs to held accountable that’s just the way things seem to go but...people also need to understand things happen and you have to adjust. Looking at stores and the stuff that was purchased is dumb. Hot pockets and cereal doesn’t constitute emergency food. The public in general are sheep and look to government for leadership. Thankful like most of you, we know how to prepare and take care of ourselves. Food, water and shelter, the rest is gravy. Just my 2cents.
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Old 02-19-2021, 02:10 PM   #48
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Burandell, see Playa's response. The problem is years and years of poor decisions by ERCOT that put our grid into a position where we were "seconds from catastrophic failure and months of blackouts", using ERCOT's own words.
This !!

We allowed the Feds and ERCOT to lead us to renewable and apparently neither the State of Texas nor ERCOT managed or try to facilitate or provide a means for the Coal Plants to make the switch to either NG or Clean.




Research Shows The Following Power Plants Closed in 2018 alone:

Big Brown in Freestone County
JT Deely in Bexar County
Monticello in Titus County
OklaUnion - Wilbarger County (2020)
Sandow - Milam County
Gibbons Creek - Grimes Counnty

Also Scheduled to Close Over Next Few Years: Coleto Creek, Pirkey, Tolk.

Defunct Because Not Renovated: Eagle Mountain, Paint Creek, and PH Robinson

=============

NOT ONE OF THE 121 COAL PLANTS CONVERTED IN US REFERENCED BELOW WERE IN TEXAS !

ERCOT AND THE STATE OF TEXAS SHOULD HAVE FACILITATED THE CHANGE RATHER THAN ALLOWING THEM TO SHUT DOWN.
================

"According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 121 U.S. coal-fired power plants were repurposed to burn other types of fuels between 2011 and 2019, 103 of which were converted to or replaced by natural gas-fired plants. At the end of 2010, 316.8 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired capacity existed in the United States, but by the end of 2019, 49.2 GW of that amount was retired, 14.3 GW had the boiler converted to burn natural gas, and 15.3 GW was replaced with natural gas combined cycle. The decision for plants to switch from coal to natural gas was driven by stricter emission standards, low natural gas prices, and more efficient new natural gas turbine technology.

Two different methods are used to switch coal-fired plants to natural gas. The first method is to retire the coal-fired plant and replace it with a new natural gas-fired combined-cycle (NGCC) plant. The second method is to convert the boiler of a coal-fired steam plant to burn other types of fuel, such as natural gas.

Between 2011 and 2019, owners of 17 coal-fired plants adopted the first method, replacing old coal-fired power plants with new NGCC plants. The new NGCC plants have a total generating capacity of 15.3 GW, 94% more than the 7.9 GW capacity of the coal-fired power plants they replaced. The increase in capacity is largely a result of the advanced turbine technology installed in NGCC plants."

==========
If my research is incorrect, please update as I was relying on Government Documentation and Gov. Web Information - which we all know can be misleading or incorrect.

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Old 02-19-2021, 02:11 PM   #49
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I keep reading where utilities failed to invest in more gas or coal power plants. But it's not that simple. That investment money is financed. Banks are getting pressured to quit financing anything except "green" energy. Heck, even Vanguard and Fidelity have funds that won't invest in any companies that don't meet their environmental standards. When it is all said and done, it always comes back to money. And politicians react to the mood of their constituents. And the people are influenced by the media and those backing them. There are a lot of people to point fingers at but, at the end of the day, we are the suckers that allowed politicians to perpetuate the green energy myth. And China is laughing their ***** off because they have been buying all the rare earth mines around the world. If you want to see an ecological and human rights disaster, go look at one of those mines.
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Old 02-19-2021, 02:11 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Burnadell View Post
Rick, as unpopular as our opinion is, I have to agree. I have researched Peter Crampton, who now lives in San Diego, CA. He is an expert in electricty markets and is Vice Chairman. Other board members also have some degree of expertise in the industry. People only need to check the Board members of the power generation utility companies in Texas to see that many, if not most, do not live in Texas.



ERCOT does not make INVESTMENTS in energy. They own NO energy assets. They manage the flow.

I am not trying to argue with anyone, but I try to be objective in my reasoning. I think most of the blame should be on the power generation utilities who caved to the renewable energy folks and the politians who caved; thus coal powered plants being closed and torn down.

It has been reported that we (Texas) was close to our grid completely failing several times. Fortunately, they were able to keep that from happening by shutting down parts of the grid to save the integrity of the whole system. Not a popular decision with those who have been out of power for an extended time. There is no EASY solution, except we need more reliable power GENERATION . The next question begs...how much are we willing to see our electric bills increase for a backup sytem that may only be needed every 40-100 years? I don't have the answer.

Good post. How much are you willing to spend on something that may never happen? Who wants to pay for California home and building construction standards here when the likelihood of an earthquake is so small. Does everyone pay for flood insurance when you donít live in a flood zone?

Too many folks screaming for peopleís heads without stepping back and objectively looking at ALL the facts.


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