Powering Your Future

What we can learn from the Texas power outage

Feb 17, 2021 11:43:49 AM / by Elise Vue

Power system operators are supposed to anticipate strain on the grid during winter months and yet in Texas things didn't go as they should have, prompting blackouts. What went wrong and are there any similarities between events in Texas and the California blackouts from last summer?


“Why it matters: The electric grid is one of the most crucial pieces of modern infrastructure, and power systems all over the country face serious risks from a changing climate,” - New York Times.


As a next-gen power company in California, Westhaven Power understands that these kinds of blackouts come from negligence of the utility providers (as we’ve seen here in California). 

Historically, The Texas ecosystem is no stranger to freezes as mentioned in the Houston Chronicle. In 1983 and 1989, the state experienced extremely cold temperature drops, causing the obliteration of 20 million coastal finfish and other marine life.

While these incidents may be few and far between, 1983 and 1989 incidents have changed the way in the fishing industry monitoring, regulations and planning. This is where power companies can learn from as a preemptive measure. Granted the power outages in the last few days have been circumstantial and likely the culmination of many contributing factors, but the reality is that this is nothing necessarily new to the lone star state.

When it comes to the the U.S. electrical grid, it is the largest interconnected machine on Earth: 200,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and 5.5 million miles of local distribution lines, linking thousands of generating plants to factories, homes and businesses. 

As a power company to thousands of residents in California, we know the grid is failing, and cannot meet the demands of modern society. While the National Academy of Engineering ranks it as the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century. What it cannot do is support the massive shift to low-carbon power that scientists warn will be needed to avoid catastrophic climate change impacts.

Better control will help utilities add more renewable power, a challenge now because wind and solar energy are intermittent sources, and grid operators can't always react quickly when their output fluctuates. 

As electric vehicles start to penetrate the market, a single vehicle charging at 220 volts can double a household's peak power usage, so it will be even more critical for homeowners to have direct power. So how do we fix this?

The immediate answer is batteries. Homeowners will need to do their part in residential battery installation, so it can depressurize the grid, and provide continuous power directly to their homes. Speak with one of our energy account executives to learn about the right system for your home here: https://westhavenpower.as.me/schedule.php

To learn more about the benefits of batteries, visit www.https://www.westhavenpower.com/batterystorage

Tags: renewable energy, power outage, electrical grid, energyinnovation

Elise Vue

Written by Elise Vue