New Calls to Reform TX Electrical Grid

electrical grid
Electrical grid | Image by yelantsevv/Shutterstock

An ongoing debate over the best way to prevent massive power outages in the Lone Star State has resulted in several Texas House Democrats proposing legislation that would connect Texas to the national electrical grid, stripping control from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

During Winter Storm Uri in 2021, more than 10 million Texans lost power, in some cases for days. Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) shouldered the blame for the outages after equipment failures during the sub-freezing conditions. In all, an estimated 246 people died in 77 Texas counties as a result of the storm.

“Over 10 million Texans needlessly lost power. Hundreds of people died, and there were mass power outages that we all knew could have been avoided,” Rep. Greg Casar (D-TX) claimed on Wednesday when introducing the “Connect the Grid Act,” according to the San Antonio Report.

“With the Connect the Grid Act we filed today, we know that we can prevent blackouts, save billions of dollars, and fight the climate crisis across this country,” said Casar, reported Chron.

The effort is the latest move by Democrats to link the electrical grid in Texas to the rest of the country. Relatedly, recent moves by the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee and the Department of Energy to require the use of amorphous steel transformers over traditional grain-oriented designs have met with pushback by state infrastructure leaders.

ERCOT argued that the use of amorphous transformers would increase supply challenges. More than 67% of amorphous transformers are foreign-made, while three of the top 10 producers of grain-oriented steel transformers are U.S.-based.

The state regulator currently supplies power to about 90% of Texas households, according to the company’s website.

ERCOT said in a statement that the Public Utilities Commission is investigating the benefits and consequences of connecting to neighboring electrical grid suppliers.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article