Lubbock Thankfully Dodged an ERCOT-Sized Bullet Last Winter. Are We Screwed This Winter?
More great news for Lubbock from ERCOT.
Earlier this year, Lubbock dodged a bullet when most of Texas had their power cut off for long periods of time during a very cold storm. Although Lubbock had to worry about a potential brown out, it never came. We were all grateful that we didn't have to deal with ERCOT-related blackouts, but Lubbock already had it set up to move over to ERCOT.
Instead of taking some needed time to assess the situation with ERCOT and make sure it was ready to go, the city of Lubbock just kept the dates to make the switch; we've been on the ERCOT system since June 1st, 2021.
At the same time, Texas as a state looked at the ERCOT system to see what happened, and how they could fix it. A large amount of time was spent in the last Texas Regular Session discussing this, but in the end, almost no changes were made. But the politicians came out and said that ERCOT is safe, so we're all good, right?
Here is a quote from the Texas Tribune article, "Texas Grid Vulnerable to Blackouts."
Electricity outages in Texas could occur this winter if the state experiences a cold snap that forces many power plants offline at the same time as demand for power is high, according to an analysis by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. The outages could occur despite better preparations by power plants to operate in cold weather.
After the Texas Public Utility Commission received all new board members and ERCOT was told they must get ready for a brutally cold winter, they just aren't. Not only that, but they also now have a new city of over 250,000 people that were added to the electric grid. Lubbock is now just as vulnerable as the rest of the state.
On top of that, gas for heating has gone up a lot with inflation. I think the most likely scenario is that we do not have a blackout, but I'm going to prepare and make sure my family has wood for the fireplace. You may want to do the same.