During a recent winter storm, Texas‘ power grid appeared to stand fast, about a year after a devastating freeze knocked off millions of people and claimed hundreds of lives. “The electric grid is more reliable and resilient than it’s ever been,” said Governor Greg Abbott on Friday, adding that the power grid had 86,000 megawatts available when peak demand of 69,000 megawatts was met on Friday morning.
Nearly a year after a disastrous freeze in February 2021 that crippled the state’s electrical grid for days and resulted in 246 deaths, the return of subfreezing weather in Texas sparked increased fear and gloomy media headlines. During that storm, millions of Texas lost power for nearly a week in bitterly cold conditions, resulting in a catastrophic power outage exacerbated in part by frozen wind turbines. Pipes froze and burst, compounding the problem.
Abbott, who was hammered politically over energy difficulties during the previous storm and faces opponents in the primary next month, took to Twitter last summer to explain why the grid was able to manage the extra demand then and now. In that both needed greater than typical energy usage across the state, the summer hot served as a good dress rehearsal for the recent freeze. In both situations, power consumption spiked, but the surges did not cause the grid to collapse.