The wind turbines are freezing, but that’s only a part of the problem with Texas power outages during this massive winter storm.
The frozen turbines are incapable of providing power to the state grid but the turbines still in operation are helping to offset the losses.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) told the Austin American Statesman that those wind turbines still functioning are spinning at a higher rate than expected.
“This is a unique winter storm that’s more widespread with lots of moisture in West Texas, where there’s a lot of times not a lot of moisture,” ERCOT senior director of system operations Dan Woodfin told the outlet. “It’s certainly more than what we would typically assume.”
Because of the frozen turbines, ERCOT said roughly 12,000 megawatts of Texas’ wind generation capacity were affected, and reports indicated between 2.5 and 3.5 million people in Texas lost power.
Critics of the Texas wind turbines shouldn’t be too harsh, though, because there’s a lot more to the power-outage picture.
Woodfin said the turbines have been the least significant factor in the blackouts and that the primary issues involve frozen instruments at natural gas, coal and even nuclear facilities, as well as limited supplies of natural gas, he said.
“Natural gas pressure” is a major concern as to why power is coming back more slowly than expected Tuesday, he added.
“We’ve had some issues with pretty much every kind of generating capacity in the course of this multi-day event,” he said.
According to Energy Information Administration figures reported in a Fox Business story, renewable energy in Texas contributes nearly 1/5th of the net electricity generated, and Texas leads the nation in wind-powered electricity generation, producing almost three-tenths of the country’s total output