Ercot’s 711-Page Training Manual Tells a Power-Grid Horror Story

Feb. 22, 2021, 1:29 PM

Up until mid-February, the Fundamentals Training Manual of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas would have been no one’s idea of an exciting read. It’s 711 pages long, including self-test sections, and covers topics ranging from the physics of electromagnetism to the trigonometry of alternating current. It teaches more than you’d ever want to know about impedance, phasors, and droop curves.

But the near-collapse of the Texas grid on Feb. 15 has lent fresh relevance to the dry document, which is available on the internet. The Fundamentals Training Manual fleshes out what Bill Magness, chief executive officer of Ercot, meant when he said that ...

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