• Power gridTexas House Targets Power Grid Flaw that Cut Electricity to Natural Gas Facilities and Worsened February Blackouts

    By Sami Sparber

    The lower chamber gave initial approval Monday to a series of bill responding to this year’s catastrophic power outages during a deadly winter storm.

  • Climate mitigationU.S. Power Sector is Halfway to Zero Carbon Emissions

    Concerns about climate change are driving a growing number of states, utilities, and corporations to set the goal of zeroing out power-sector carbon emissions. To date 17 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico have adopted laws or executive orders to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity in the next couple of decades. Additionally, 46 U.S. utilities have pledged to go carbon free no later than 2050. Altogether, these goals cover about half of the U.S. population and economy.

  • Grid securityThe U.S. Needs a Macrogrid to Move Electricity from Areas that Make It to Areas that Need It

    By James D. McCalley

    Many kinds of extreme events can disrupt electricity service, including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, extreme heat, extreme cold and extended droughts. Major disasters can leave thousands of people in the dark. During such events, unaffected regions may have power to spare. For example, during the February blackouts in Texas, utilities were generating electricity from hydropower in the Pacific Northwest, natural gas in the Northeast, wind on the northern Plains and solar power in the Southwest. Today it’s not possible to move electricity seamlessly from one end of the U.S. to the other.

  • Grid securityIntegration Can Prevent Failures in Large Power Grids

    The recent power outages in Texas brought attention to its power grid being separated from the rest of the country. While it is not immediately clear whether integration with other parts of the national grid would have completely eliminated the need for rolling outages, the state’s inability to import significant amounts of electricity was decisive in the blackout.

  • Texas power outagesAlmost 70% of ERCOT customers lost power during winter storm, study finds

    By Neelam Bohra

    Texans in ERCOT’s service area who lost electricity were without power for an average of 42 hours, according to the study. They had been told to prepare for short-term, rolling outages.

  • Texas power outagesPaperwork Failures Worsened Texas Blackouts, Sparking Mid-Storm Scramble to Restore Critical Fuel Supply

    By Erin Douglas

    Dozens of natural gas companies failed to do the paperwork that would keep their facilities powered during an emergency, so utilities cut their electricity at the very moment that power plants most needed fuel. The mid-storm scramble to fix the problem exposed a regulatory blind spot.

  • Grid securityReducing Risk and Avoiding Disaster – Creating Grid 2.0

    By Dale Willman

    It’s hard to imagine a world without electricity. But as demand increases, so do the assaults to the system that delivers that energy — the power grid. Severe weather is a primary driver of power outages. Aging infrastructure is also a problem for the electric system.

  • Grid securityRapidly Restoring the Electrical Grid after Cyberattack

    Some 330 million Americans rely on the nation’s critical infrastructure to keep the country humming. Disruptions to electrical grids, communications systems, and supply chains can be catastrophic, yet all of these are vulnerable to cyberattack. RADICS program delivers novel technologies, custom testbed, and evaluation exercises to enable utilities and first responders to quickly restore critical infrastructure amidst a cyberattack.

  • Texas power outagesThe Texas Blackouts Showed How Climate Extremes Threaten Energy Systems Across the U.S.

    By Roshanak (Roshi) Nateghi

    Pundits and politicians have been quick to point fingers over the debacle in Texas that left millions without power or clean water during February’s deep freeze. Many have blamed the state’s deregulated electricity market, arguing that Texas prioritized cheap power over reliability. But climate extremes are wreaking increasing havoc on energy systems across the U.S., regardless of local politics or the particulars of regional grids.

  • Texas power outagesWhat Went Wrong with Texas’ Power Grid?

    On 13 February, a severe winter storm swept across Texas and nearby southern states, bringing sub-zero temperatures and snowfall as far south as the border with Mexico. The polar air that descended on Texas lasted many days, leading to a statewide crisis as energy grids failed to supply enough power, fuels froze, and water pipes burst. Why did it happen? Experts explain.

  • ARGUMENT: Power outagesLessons from the Texas Grid Disaster: Planning and Investing for a Different Future

    It is now a week out from the start of the massive Texas grid failure. Alexandra Klass writes that at this point we already know that freezing wind turbines – in fact, wind turbines outperformed grid operator expectations, despite the extreme cold, and the outages would have been worse without the wind energy that remained online. the state’s electric grid failed for a very simple reason—because Texas power plant operators do not insulate their facilities for sustained cold temperatures. As a result, pipes and equipment needed to run the state’s natural gas plants, nuclear plants, and wind turbines froze.

  • Texas power outagesTexas Leaders Failed to Heed Warnings Which Left the State's Power Grid Vulnerable to Winter Extremes, Experts Say

    By Erin Douglas, Kate McGee, and Jolie McCullough

    Texas officials knew winter storms could leave the state’s power grid vulnerable, but they left the choice to prepare for harsh weather up to the power companies — many of which opted against the costly upgrades. That, plus a deregulated energy market largely isolated from the rest of the country’s power grid, left the state alone to deal with the crisis, experts said.

  • Texas power outages“We’re in It Alone”: Power Outages Leave Millions of Texans Desperate for Heat and Safety

    By Shannon Najmabadi and Marissa Martinez

    Millions of Texans suffered through Monday night without power as a massive winter blitz sent temperatures plunging, shuttered grocery stores and caused widespread outages. Texas residents said the storm — and ensuing partial collapse of the state’s power system — sapped what mental reserves they had left after eleven months of a global health crisis that has cost thousands of jobs and claimed more than 40,000 lives in the state.

  • Texas power outagesUPDATES: More People Could Lose Electricity, Heat as Crisis Persists

    By Erin Douglas, Ross Ramsey

    Energy experts, local leaders and residents said energy and state officials failed to properly prepare people for the mass outages coinciding with dangerous weather that’s already led to at least 10 deaths. Texas largely relies on natural gas — especially during times of high demand — to power the state. Experts say natural gas infrastructure, from pumping it out of the ground to the plants in city centers, was unprepared for the plunging temperatures brought by the winter storm.

  • Power outagesPower Outages across the Plains: 4 Questions Answered about Weather-Driven Blackouts

    By Michael E. Webber

    Amid record cold temperatures and skyrocketing energy demand, utilities across the central U.S. have ordered rolling blackouts to ration electricity, leaving millions of people without power. Weather-related power outages are increasing across the U.S. as climate change produces more extreme storms and temperature swings. States that design their buildings and infrastructure for hot weather may need to plan for more big chills, and cold-weather states can expect more heat waves. As conditions in Texas show, there’s no time to waste in getting more weather-ready.