Tag Archives: electricity

That was quite the storm

I hope everyone reading this is safe and coping well after that Thursday storm. Our power has been out since Thursday evening, so things are a little chaotic. But we’re fine, we’ll be fine, and there’s plenty to be done … Continue reading

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ERCOT and the AI demand boom

Once again we ask, can our grid keep up? The rapid expansion of data centers, fueled by the rise of artificial intelligence platforms and the increasing digitization of the economy, is driving a surge in electricity demand in Texas and … Continue reading

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Crypto miners really don’t want to tell us how much energy they consume

And for now at least, they don’t have to. U.S. officials this week indefinitely withdrew a survey aimed at gathering information on the crypto-mining industry’s power use, hindering attempts to understand the sector’s impact on grids and energy prices at … Continue reading

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The real way to make a fortune in cryptocurrency

Get paid millions to not use electricity. It’s brilliant. When the news broke that Bitcoin mining company Riot Platforms made $32 million by reducing — or being willing to reduce if needed — its energy use last August in Texas, … Continue reading

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How hot is it?

Too damn hot. Record-setting heat in Texas has sent hundreds of people to emergency rooms in recent weeks, according to state health officials. Temperature records fell across Texas during the last two weeks, putting June 2023 on pace to be … Continue reading

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Watch out for your electric bill

Noting this for the record. As Texans continue paying off the costs of the deadly 2021 winter storm, state lawmakers are considering a Republican-backed proposal that would allow for more frequent rate hikes and prevent cities from challenging the increases. Supporters of Senate … Continue reading

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Some rocky times for Texas’ cryptocurrency miners

Their boundless optimism never wavers, however. Cryptocurrency miners began flocking to Texas in the past five years, drawn by the state’s low energy costs and relaxed regulations. As they began setting up shop, lawmakers and local officials were touting the boom as an economic lifeline … Continue reading

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Last chance to file Winter Storm Uri lawsuits

The two year anniversary of the big freeze of 2021 is upon us, and the statute of limitations for civil actions in this sort of thing is two years, so you know what that means. When Cherrilyn Nedd left her … Continue reading

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More on the PUC’s attempt to fix the grid

From TPR: After the last big blackout, state lawmakers passed Senate Bill 3, telling the commission to improve grid reliability. So, commissioners have been working on changing the state’s electricity market. They want to reform how energy is bought and … Continue reading

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PUC makes an attempt to fix the grid

People are skeptical. The Public Utility Commission voted Thursday to make a substantial change to the state’s electricity market in a controversial effort to get the whole system to be more reliable. The agency said it will let the Legislature … Continue reading

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ERCOT makes it through, with an assist from the feds

In case you were wondering. A day after ERCOT asked the U.S. Department of Energy for an emergency order allowing its generators to bypass emissions standards to stave off potential outages, Texas’ electric grid met demand with ease on Saturday. … Continue reading

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No, really, are we emotionally prepared for this freeze?

Ready or not, here it comes. State officials warned residents Wednesday to prepare their homes and vehicles for the coming freeze while trying to reassure on-edge Texans that the electric grid will stay online. Temperatures are expected to plummet Thursday … Continue reading

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Are we emotionally prepared for the oncoming freeze?

That’s the real question at this point. ERCOT on Friday notified power generators in Texas that they need to be online and ready to provide power during an expected wave of cold air that could drop overnight temperatures into the … Continue reading

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More battery power coming

Now here is something that might actually help the grid. A surge of new battery projects is expected to come online on Texas and California’s power grids, as developers seek to store the excess electricity produced by those state’s sprawling wind and solar … Continue reading

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Electric trucks and the power grid

Very interesting. Next month, Tesla Inc. plans to deliver the first of its electric Semi trucks—able to haul a full 40 ton-load some 500 miles on a single charge. These massive batteries-on-wheels may accelerate the transition to electrified transport, but … Continue reading

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When we say “fix the grid”…

This is one of the obvious ways we could attempt to do that. The state’s High Plains region, which covers 41 counties in the Texas Panhandle and West Texas, is home to more than 11,000 wind turbines — the most … Continue reading

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Offshore wind farm proposed

Let’s do it. The Gulf of Mexico’s first offshore wind farms will be developed off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana, the Biden administration announced Wednesday, and together they’re projected to produce enough energy to power around 3 million homes. … Continue reading

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Sure hope our grid can handle a bunch of crypto

I have three things to say about this. With interest surging in digital currencies and the blockchain technology behind them, more and more investors and operators are turning to Texas, lured by its cheap energy and hands-off regulatory approach. The … Continue reading

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How much is Greg Abbott sweating right now?

I hope it’s a lot. It should be a lot. With temperatures soaring statewide, Gov. Greg Abbott is scrambling to reassure Texans he’s closely monitoring the state’s shaky electric grid as other GOP officials vow to get back to work … Continue reading

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More on Abbott’s involvement in “getting the power back on”

Also known as more from the Brazos Electric Power Co-op lawsuit against ERCOT, but that didn’t fit well in the title. The former chair of the Texas Public Utility Commission testified in court Thursday that during last year’s winter storm and blackout Governor … Continue reading

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Go ahead and blame Greg Abbott for your high electricity bills

They really are his fault. The former head of the Texas power grid testified in court Wednesday that when he ordered power prices to stay at the maximum price cap for days on end during last year’s frigid winter storm and blackout, running up … Continue reading

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Speaking of cryptocurrency and electricity usage…

Congress has a few questions. From wind farms in West Texas to an old aluminum refining operation outside Austin, crypto miners are flooding into Texas take advantage of some of the cheapest power in the country and positioning the state … Continue reading

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In case you’d forgotten, we still haven’t fixed the power grid

It has other problems too, which we also haven’t addressed. Millions of Texans lost power in February 2021. Hundreds died as a result. Tens of billions of dollars in damages were lost. Billions were just transferred from consumers by government … Continue reading

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How the grid held up

Basically, this cold front wasn’t anything like last year’s cold front. Texas’s power grid passed its biggest test since last year’s deadly blackouts, keeping most lights on during a wintry blast. This storm, however, was far less severe than last … Continue reading

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The noble sacrifice of the coin miners

You’re welcome. Chad Harris got an urgent phone call during last February’s epic Texas winter storm, something he was expecting as the operator of the single largest bitcoin mining and hosting facility in North America. “You need to shed your … Continue reading

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Who’s worried about electricity in Texas?

The guy who writes The Watchdog for the DMN, for one. The people with real power in this state, not so much. I was lonely. For more than a decade, it was as if I were the only North Texas … Continue reading

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The final official death toll from the big freeze

It’s undoubtedly an underestimate. Texas has added 36 more deaths to the official death toll from the February snow and ice storm, bringing the total to 246 in what was one of the worst natural disasters in the state’s history. … Continue reading

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ERCOT and PUC swear there will be no blackouts this winter

Do you believe them? The Public Utility Commission and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas on Wednesday pledged that the “lights will stay on” this winter as it inspects power generators and enforces other requirements to avoid a deadly power … Continue reading

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We’re still vulnerable to blackouts

So says ERCOT. 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 … Continue reading

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Those pesky high utility rates

Still a problem. Those of us who lived through Winter Storm Uri have hardly forgotten the experience, of course. But we’ll have a little reminder of it on our gas bills. Every month. For the next decade. At least. And … Continue reading

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A timeline of the blackout

Of interest. A new report from University of Texas at Austin energy experts lays much of the blame for power outages during the state’s deadly February freeze on the failure of natural gas producers to fully weatherize their facilities.” The … Continue reading

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Your thermostat may be plotting against you

Welcome to 2021. Amid [recent] sweltering temperatures in Houston, the agency that operates the state’s power grid asked residents to cut back on how much electricity they used to help it meet demand. That’s how some people apparently learned the hard way that their … Continue reading

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Abbott tells the PUC to, like, “do something” about electricity and stuff

He’s a Very Serious man making Very Serious proposals. Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday gave state electricity regulators marching orders to “improve electric reliability.” In a letter to the Public Utility Commission, Abbott directed the three-person board of directors, who … Continue reading

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We’ll be paying for the freeze for a long time

What’s more, we have done nothing to prevent the same thing from happening again. Publicly funded state agencies needing to keep the lights and heat on during the freeze racked up huge bills. In February 2020, the Texas Department of … Continue reading

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