Good read: Some interesting skinny on once-a-century cold versus Texas grid

Good read: Some interesting skinny on once-a-century cold versus Texas grid

[Ed. – Just read the whole thing.]

To schedule a generation plant to go offline for maintenance, the generation company files a request to do so with ERCOT. …

Historically, the busiest time of the year for such maintenance to be done is — you guessed it — from February to April when generation needs for the Texas power grid are at their lowest. …

[T]he giant wind turbines froze during the arctic blast and quit turning, taking a significant amount of generating capacity from wind offline too. …

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[W]ind turbines in Toronto — for example — are manufactured with de-icing devices built into them — the power generated by the turbine itself runs the devices — so they have an intrinsic mechanism to prevent happening to them what happened in Texas. … What is the “cost-benefit” analysis of incurring the expense of such an internal safeguard for a wind turbine that is to be used in West Texas …?

[W]hen the heaviest snow fell and temperatures dropped into the single digits — conditions never before experienced — safety sensors began to shut down some of the generation facilities that were online and running at maximum capacity because of icing problems.  Fossil fuel and nuclear power generation plants all boil water to create steam and the pressurized steam spins turbines that generate electricity.  They all have piping mechanisms to move water — and natural gas in plants that burn natural gas to boil water.

The historic low temperatures caused the water to freeze in the pipelines — no water => no steam => turbines quit spinning.

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