Lack of power to about a quarter of the state in Texas due to winter storm created a widespread emergency. The outages cover the areas served by Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, from the counties bordering Mexico up to those touching Oklahoma, and from Houston in the east to rural Big Bend in the west. The power grid was just minutes from failing on Monday before state agency officials initiated emergency rolling outages. “People feel like what we’re seeing feels like a blackout, but the blackout that can occur if you don’t keep the supply and demand in balance could last months,” US Rep. Marc Veasey, a Democrat who represents parts of Fort Worth and Dallas, said.
The controlled outages have created rotating power issues. Gov. Greg Abbott said that he has spoken with both the lieutenant governor and the state House speaker, and that an investigation of ERCOT is slated to begin next week. About 17,200 megawatts of renewable generated power remain out on Wednesday afternoon, due to freezing of the wind, or because of lack of sun for the solar. The lack of winter preparedness has long been an issue for ERCOT’s power system. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is preparing to begin distributing 60 generators, millions of liters of water and tens of thousands of blankets in Texas.