How close is ERCOT in Texas to failure over extreme weather?

Icicles hang off of a railing at a park in Austin, Texas, 15 January 2024. Texas will experience temperatures below freezing throughout the coming week


At least one energy expert maintains the electric grid in Texas, ERCOT, is under a crucial test this week because of the extreme cold and it could show how close it is to another collapse—just like it did during Winter Storm Uri in 2021.

That’s the opinion of David Blackmon, a man with a 40-year career in the U.S. energy industry. He said ERCOT’s request for customers to conserve energy showed low renewable energy production.

“ERCOT’s request blamed the latest failure of the state’s huge wind industry on “unseasonably low wind” conditions, but the reality that the wind tends to die down as temperatures drop is one of the most open secrets in the history of weather,” he wrote.

Blackmon had more criticism of the state’s reliability on another renewable form of energy.

“Equally obvious is the fact that they will get zero generation from the state’s ballyhooed solar farms when the sun isn’t shining, and ERCOT’s managers should have learned last summer that the battery storage facilities will also fail to deliver much whenever the weather is too hot or, as it is this week, too cold.”

Click here to read his opinion