After six power plants went down unexpectedly Last Friday — and with hot weather expected across Texas— the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) on Friday evening was seen asking consumers to conserve electricity through Sunday. The sudden drop in electricity supply rattled the system through the weekend.
However, luckily there wasn’t any major outage, the heads of the ERCOT and the State’s Public Utility Commission, while patting their own back, during a press conference, said that the power grid was already prepared for record-breaking energy demand this summer.
On Monday, ERCOT released its quarterly evaluation of the electric grid, called a Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy. The report found that Texas’ energy reserves are bigger than they’ve been in years. It concludes the state should be able to get through the hottest months without rolling blackouts under all but the most extreme scenarios.
However, some independent analysts say the assessment downplays the likelihood of those scenarios and the possibility of multiple failures cropping up on the system simultaneously.
“I don’t think the grid is ready to handle another 2011-style heatwave,” said Dan Cohan, a professor of civil engineering at Rice University. “I don’t think the grid is ready to supply all the demand without at least having some localized, very brief, rolling blackouts this summer. ”
A similar warning also came for California earlier this month.
Leaders of the Public Utilities Commission, the state’s Independent System Operator, and the California Energy Commission said the state could face a shortage of as much as 1,700 megawatts — the equivalent of one major power plant — on the hottest days. “We know reliability is going to be difficult,” said Alice Reynolds, president of the utility commission, during a media briefing. “We know climate change is putting Californians at risk of further outages.”
Officials said California has made considerable progress in shoring up the grid, including the addition of nearly 4,000 megawatts of battery storage in just over two years. But climate change is creating ever-worsening heat waves, and supplies are tightening all over the West, making it harder for the state to import electricity in a pinch. However, wildfires can knock transmission lines out of commission very soon.
Nonetheless, energy reliability remains perilous as major heat waves trigger spikes in demand. The state narrowly avoided more blackouts last July, when temperatures soared past 110 degrees in much of California.
In response to power shutoffs, homeowners, businesses, and managers of critical facilities, such as city halls, fire stations, hospitals, and schools, currently buy fossil fuel-powered backup generators. But diesel generators are not the solution. They are heavy polluters, noisy, and expensive to operate. Further, replenishing the supply of fuel is not always possible during an emergency.
However, having your own Solar Power System is an option available against any future planned or unplanned shutoffs. In order to get secure from such incidents, one must have their own independent power system.
A microgrid (mini-grid). An energy system that is capable of generating, storing, and releasing energy when required and operates properly even when your utility company fails. Mini-grids are independent, decentralized electricity networks that can function separately from a national grid.
It is not out of place to remind you that 2022 is the last year for claiming 26% ITC on your solar power system. Contact Us to take your first steps towards the green energy initiative, savings, and uninterrupted power supply.