‘An uncontrollable blackout could last for an indeterminate amount of time,’ says ERCOT spokesman
Severe winter weather in Texas caused over 3 million customers to go without power earlier in the week as the demand level reached a record high.
An Electric Reliability Council of Texas spokesman Bill Magness said in a situation update on Tuesday that crews are attempting to restore power throughout the state but made it clear the storm is a bad one.
Our fundamental job is to keep the grid reliable by maintaining the balance between generation and load — the balance between supply and demand,” he explained. “What we have seen in this event — this severe winter event — is that imbalance of the supply and demand developing to a point Sunday night to where we needed to protect the integrity of the grid.”
“We needed to make sure we didn’t have an uncontrollable blackout that could last for an in-determined amount of time that could take a very long time to get electric service back to people,” Magness explained. “And while this has certainly taken longer than we had hoped we are continuing to work toward restoration of the system as it was last week.”
Approximately 494,533 customers were left without power as of 12:18 pm on Thursday while workers struggle to bring systems back online.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller issued a statewide warning on Tuesday to the food and agriculture supply chain after ranchers and farmers saw a significant impact on agriculture, livestock, and feed products following the harsh cold spell.
Miller made it clear in his warning that he expects a breakdown in the supply chain beyond what the pandemic had ever created.
“I’m getting calls from farmers and ranchers across the state reporting that the interruptions in electricity and natural gas are having a devastating effect on their operations,” Miller said. “Store shelves are already empty… we’re looking at a food supply chain problem like we’ve never seen before, even with COVID-19.”
Taking the warning a step further, Miller requested Texas Governor Greg Abbott deem agriculture processors and producers as “critical infrastructure” making them eligible to receive fuel and electricity.
The food supply chain is a major concern at this point and there is already talk of food rationing.
A total of 194 Walmart stores remain closed on Thursday, showing the veracity of the situation.
Water is also a major concern. Twelve million Texas residents are currently facing interruption of their water supply. Not to mention Texans have been asked to boil their water.
“Water pressure is very low,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted Wednesday. “Please do not run water to keep pipes from bursting.”
“Turn off water if pipes have burst,” the Tweet reads. “Please contact us if you don’t know how to turn off the water.
Summing it all up, Ice Age Farmer reports that a cascading series of failures has gotten out of hand and could be devastating to humans, animals, and agriculture. The outspoken YouTuber believes the Grand Solar Minimum is responsible for the recent arctic cold wave.
Dovetailing with what Ice Age Farmer reported, an editorial written by Valentina Zharkova titled Modern Grand Solar Minimum will lead to terrestrial cooling suggests that the Earth may be headed into cooler temperatures through 2053. According to Zharkova, the Grand Solar Minimum started in 2020 and will continue for some 30 years.
All of the chaos has also caused natural gas prices to spike.
“In Texas, a state unaccustomed to such weather, wholesale electricity prices hit $9,000 per MWh on the spot market, prompting at least one retail power supplier to urge its clients to switch to another provider to avoid huge utility bills,” OilPrice.com reports.
As you can see, there has never been a better time to prepare. Considering the proper ‘bug-in’ plan is crucial, along with having the right supplies. Just some food for thought.