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Old 02-18-2021, 03:01 PM   #1
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Texas "Great Power Outage of 2021"

I live in Dallas, TX and we experienced something rare for us. Several days of little to no electrical power as the power grid failed. This brought to my mine how catastrophic it would be to lose the entire power gird nationally. I hope we will move cautiously on doing away with fossil fuels and not be to dependent on Wind and Solar. I know the RV parks in Texas must have suffered and I hope everyone remained safe.
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Old 02-18-2021, 03:25 PM   #2
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The failure was not based on Green Wind and Solar. That is Fox News propaganda. Failure was based on gas plants and fossil fuels no being able to to get to the generating stations.

USA Today.

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/ne...rk/6764764002/


Quote from Daniel Cohan, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University.

Are frozen wind turbines to blame?

Some have pointed to freezing on wind turbines as a potential cause of the widespread outages, saying the renewable energy source is not reliable, but Cohan called those arguments "a red herring."

Rai said there are times of the year when wind is an extremely important energy source for Texas, powering half of the state's electricity supply.

This week, operators planned for much less wind capacity, though, Cohan said.

"Firm resources" – such as gas, coal and nuclear – failed to supply roughly 30,000 megawatts, which contributed to the bulk of the problem, Cohan said.
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Old 02-18-2021, 03:39 PM   #3
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"Green" wind and solar contributed to the failure. It was not the only cause of course but the windmills did freeze and solar did get covered in snow. I was not making a political statement but wanted to comment on how important it is to protect the power grid. Sorry if I offended...
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:33 PM   #4
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16MW lost from wind and solar as well at the peak. I say that's a contribution. It was a cascade of failures. Will be interesting to find out exactly what happened, if we ever do.
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:36 PM   #5
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Meant to say 16K MW.
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:37 PM   #6
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:39 PM   #7
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The failure was not based on Green Wind and Solar. That is Fox News propaganda. Failure was based on gas plants and fossil fuels no being able to to get to the generating stations.

USA Today.

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/ne...rk/6764764002/


Quote from Daniel Cohan, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University.

Are frozen wind turbines to blame?

Some have pointed to freezing on wind turbines as a potential cause of the widespread outages, saying the renewable energy source is not reliable, but Cohan called those arguments "a red herring."

Rai said there are times of the year when wind is an extremely important energy source for Texas, powering half of the state's electricity supply.

This week, operators planned for much less wind capacity, though, Cohan said.

"Firm resources" – such as gas, coal and nuclear – failed to supply roughly 30,000 megawatts, which contributed to the bulk of the problem, Cohan said.
Fox News propaganda!! Now that's funny.
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:42 PM   #8
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In the 50's as kids we used 2 tin cans and some kite string for our walkie talkies and that system was more robust than the Texas power grid. Went from no power to rolling outages at intervals. I think heads will roll.
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:44 PM   #9
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Not disputing what has previously said but would like to add that failure to heed warnings there were problems played a huge role too.

As people are finding out, it's not always warm in Texas. Equipment in Texas isn't much different than equipment installed in areas that see arctic like temps every year yet there the equipment didn't fail.

Insulation and proper lubricant in machinery makes a big difference. Natural Gas flows in Canada and Northern States in winter yet in Texas proper precautions and preparation was a victim of "We've never had that problem before" thinking.

Sometimes it takes a slap in the face with a cold, wet, towel to wake the decision makers up. This time the "towel" was frozen solid and they got smacked real hard. When they wake up I'm sure those that still have jobs will start corrective measures immediately.
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:45 PM   #10
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This post won't last long before being shut down!
Doesn't have to if people can avoid political bashing.
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:45 PM   #11
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Texas runs on natural gas and coal.
Nothing works if the valves are frozen because they aren't 'hardened' to resist freezing weather.
The national grid is divided into East, West and Texas.
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:48 PM   #12
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Not disputing what has previously said but would like to add that failure to heed warnings there were problems played a huge role too.

As people are finding out, it's not always warm in Texas. Equipment in Texas isn't much different than equipment installed in areas that see arctic like temps every year yet there the equipment didn't fail.

Insulation and proper lubricant in machinery makes a big difference. Natural Gas flows in Canada and Northern States in winter yet in Texas proper precautions and preparation was a victim of "We've never had that problem before" thinking.

Sometimes it takes a slap in the face with a cold, wet, towel to wake the decision makers up. This time the "towel" was frozen solid and they got smacked real hard. When they wake up I'm sure those that still have jobs will start corrective measures immediately.

This. Natural gas, coal, and wind work fine in much colder environments in more northern states. Sounds like all failed in Texas.
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Old 02-18-2021, 07:26 PM   #13
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This. Natural gas, coal, and wind work fine in much colder environments in more northern states. Sounds like all failed in Texas.
From what I've been reading from many sources it wasn't the "fuel" that failed as much as the equipment used to convert it to electricity wasn't prepared for the extreme cold.

It can be, in some cases, as simple as using a can of 30 weight oil in a critical point rather than an 10W-30 oil. Just an example, not a specific.

If if the Coal freezes in the piles, the conveyors won't run (improper lube), pipeline valves don't operate, and windmill blades/turbines don't turn it's not the fault of the "fuel", just the lack of foresight and "penny pinching" managers.

One of the flaws in most management environments is how the decision makers are compensated. They get bonuses on top of salaries that are intended to reward them for doing a good job. Most of the individuals working with these incentives think they're doing a good job by returning budget money to the company unspent just so they can ensure they get a bonus. A common place in budgets where this is done is the Capital Budget for upgraded equipment and facilities. If millions are unspent, year end financials look good, bonuses paid, and the can is just kicked down the road.

I had a front row seat to that for 17 years. Only time some capital expenditures were made was "when the wheels fell off".
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Old 02-18-2021, 07:38 PM   #14
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A LOT of people in Texas have propane, natural gas or wood heating capabilities in their home. Often not the primary source, but keeps you from freezing to death in a situation like this. You think this was a catastrophe, you take away fossil fuel heating sources and put the country entirely on electricity and this would have been unimaginable.
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Old 02-18-2021, 07:44 PM   #15
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Having our electric grid hardened against negative temps in Texas makes about as much sense as requiring air conditioning in every installation in northern Canada. There are several wind turbines on the property where I hunt and most of the time I see and hear large fans dedicated to cooling the equipment vs. heating it. This is likely a once in a generation occurrence. We haven’t had temps this cold in 30 years or more.
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:05 PM   #16
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Texas runs on natural gas and coal.
Nothing works if the valves are frozen because they aren't 'hardened' to resist freezing weather.
The national grid is divided into East, West and Texas.
And Alaska and Hawaii. Fortunately, our grid in Alaska is well protected against freezing temperatures.
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:42 PM   #17
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Having our electric grid hardened against negative temps in Texas makes about as much sense as requiring air conditioning in every installation in northern Canada. There are several wind turbines on the property where I hunt and most of the time I see and hear large fans dedicated to cooling the equipment vs. heating it. This is likely a once in a generation occurrence. We haven’t had temps this cold in 30 years or more.
If you don't mind catastrophes like this, then don't insulate, heat, or use proper lubes.

What would it take versus the financial and human toll we'll see when the numbers are added up.

Using similar logic most large grocery stores where i live don't hsve backup power for cold/frozen food storage. Why? Because power failures are rare, right?

Since my local Walmart opened it's suffered 3 multi-day outages and has had to discard TONS of cold/frozen food. Costs in the high six figures for lost food. A large enough standby generator? Maybe $ 50k.

Our local Winco does have a generator.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:00 PM   #18
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All I know...15 outside 34 inside no power for 3 days.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:06 PM   #19
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The great eastern seaboard outage in 2003.

A good read. The whole thing collapsed. Similar problem with lack of Maintenance in Ohio, tree pruning.


https://www.thestar.com/business/eco...t_dark.html?rf
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:10 PM   #20
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"Everything's bigger in Texas"

...including failures.
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