Show an ad over header. AMP

Massive Texas power outages mostly caused by cold weather, grid operator says

Weather-related problems were the leading cause of Texas power plants going offline during February's record cold snap that left millions of Texans in the dark, a preliminary report published Tuesday states.

Why it matters: These initial findings from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the flow of electric power in the state, indicate that many facilities were unable to withstand the extreme weather.


Details: 54% of outages could be attributed to the cold during the winter storm, which caused the deaths of 125 people.

  • This "includes but is not limited to frozen equipment — including frozen sensing lines, frozen water lines, and frozen valves — ice accumulation on wind turbine blades, ice/snow cover on solar panels, exceedances of low temperature limits for wind turbines, and flooded equipment due to ice/snow melt," per the report.
  • The next leading causes were outages that existed before the storm, such as for scheduled shutdowns (15%) and equipment failure that was unrelated to the weather (14%).

For the record: Texas officials have launched a series of investigations into the crisis during the winter storm.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: While it's significant that ERCOT has admitted this, the key question is whether officials will take any action to require utilities to harden their systems to prevent against a repeat.

What to watch: A bill designed to overhaul the Texas power market and grid, which would "authorize fines of up to $1 million per day for electricity and natural gas companies that don't winterize appropriately" has already has passed the state Senate and is now before the House, per the Austin-American Statesman.

Read the preliminary report in full, via DocumentCloud:

Go deeper: The politics of the Texas power crisis

Church shelters call out U.S. for expelling migrants when they have capacity

Despite the separation between church and state, the federal government depends upon religious shelters to help it cope with migration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Why it matters: The network supports the U.S. in times of crisis, but now some shelter leaders are complaining about expelling families to Mexico when they have capacity — and feel a higher calling — to accommodate them.

Keep reading... Show less

Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict in the murder of George Floyd is the rare officer conviction

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was shown kneeling on George Floyd's neck last year in a video that shook the nation, was found guilty of murder and manslaughter on Tuesday.

Yes, but: Eight years after the launch of the Black Lives Matter movement, it's still rare for police officersto face legal consequences or jail time over the deaths of Black people.

Keep reading... Show less

Senate confirms Lisa Monaco as Justice Department's deputy attorney general

The Senate voted 98-2 on Tuesday to confirm Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general for the Justice Department, making her the agency's second highest-ranking official.

Why it matters: Monaco is expected to play a key role in Attorney General Merrick Garland's pledge to crack down on violence from domestic extremist groups, including the department's sweeping investigation of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Keep reading... Show less

Minneapolis reflects on Chauvin verdict as a step toward healing and calm

A growing crowd outside the Hennepin County Government Center broke out into cheers, hugs and tears of relief as word of the Derek Chauvin verdict spread just after 4pm CST.

Catch up quick: Eleven months after George Floyd died under the former Minneapolis police officer's knee, a jury of 12 neighbors returned a guilty verdict on all three counts.

Keep reading... Show less

"Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family": Nation reacts to Chauvin verdict

America is speaking out after the jury in Derek Chauvin's trial announced its guiltyverdict after about 10 hours of deliberation.

What they're saying...

Ben Crump, Floyd family lawyer: "GUILTY! Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family ... Justice for Black America is justice for all of America!"

Keep reading... Show less

Derek Chauvin found guilty of all 3 charges in George Floyd's death

A jury on Tuesday found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd's death.

Why it matters: This rare conviction of a police officer may come to be seen as a defining moment in America's collective reckoning with issues of race and justice.

Keep reading... Show less

Super League in super trouble

The European Super League is on the brink before it even manages to launch.

The state of play: Two key English teams — Chelsea and Manchester City — are reportedly preparing to exit just two days after the league announced its formation, ESPN notes.

Keep reading... Show less

Johnson & Johnson to resume COVID vaccine rollout in Europe

Johnson & Johnson announced Tuesday it would resume the rollout of its coronavirus vaccine in Europe after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said unusual blood clots should be listed as a "very rare" side effect of the company's vaccine, but that the benefits of the shot still outweigh the risks.

Why it matters: Johnson & Johnson was set to send 50 million doses of its one-shot coronavirus vaccine to the European Union before it delayed it's European rollout earlier in April "out of an abundance of caution" over rare blood clotting events.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories