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Texas Was Warned a Decade Ago Its Grid Was Unready for Cold (1)

Feb. 17, 2021, 9:41 PM

Federal regulators warned Texas that its power plants couldn’t be counted on to reliably churn out electricity in bitterly cold conditions a decade ago, when the last deep freeze plunged 4 million people into the dark.

They recommended that utilities use more insulation, heat pipes and take other steps to winterize plants -- strategies commonly observed in cooler climates but not in normally balmy Texas.

“Where did those recommendations go, and how were they implemented?” said Jeff Dennis, managing director of Advanced Energy Economy, an association of clean energy businesses. “Those are going to be some pretty key questions.”

A pedestrian walks her dog past an ice and snow covered sculpture in Irving, Texas in 2011.
Photographer: Eric Gay/AP Photo

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