The Texas Grid – Failing the Growing Electricity Demands

texas grid
So, how is the Texas grid performing? Well, Texas is in the top five in the country for population growth. Some of that is due to the high birth rates, while 60% of it is due to net migration. More people are moving to Texas than are leaving the state. While this may seem like a positive, it has its set of drawbacks as well. All of those people need power. While Texas is a big state, most people live in big cities. In fact, 6.12 million of the 28.64 million people that live in Texas reside in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin. That’s over 21% of the state’s population in just four cities. People in cities need energy and this can strain the Texas grid beyond what it’s capable of dealing with.

The Texas Grid – Power Strain

Texas is the only state in America with its own power grid. It’s only possible because of its immense size. At the turn of the 20th century, federal regulations were made governing the use and generation of power. Two power grids cover the eastern and western United States. Texas opted out of that, and now the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) produces 90% of the state’s power, via the Texas grid.  This works because the state is spread across two time zones. This spreads peak usage around and decreases the strain on the Texas grid. People are turning off lights to go to bed an hour earlier in the east than in the west, and those in the west are turning their lights on an hour later when they get up.

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The Texas Grid – Why Did the Power Grid Fail?

In February of 2021 millions of Texans lost power. There were two main causes for this: the weather and the expected power output. Uncharacteristically cold temperatures froze gas pipelines and even stopped wind turbines from spinning. Many Texans were forced to crank up their heaters, which created an unforeseen demand for energy.  Many power plants throttle down in the winter in Texas for routine maintenance, because the demand for electricity isn’t as high. This decreases the peak output. So Texas power plants weren’t prepared for the sudden surge of power when people turned on their heaters. All of these factors combined to create a devastating and deadly power outage. 

The Texas Grid – How Solar Can Help

More people means that Texas will need more energy. To that end, Dallas senator Nathan Johnson stated, “Generally people agree we are going to need new generation sources.” He’s likely referring to solar energy. Texas is one of the best states in the country for solar energy and you can prevent blackouts if you install a battery backup system For Houston solar, energy experts, contact us at Sunshine Renewable Solutions. We’re the Houston solar installers with the experience and knowledge to set you and your family up right; we pride ourselves on being one of the best solar companies in Texas! So call us for a free estimate at 832-280-8838!