Texas to spice up grid resilience with extra wind & photo voltaic, in accordance with Clear Technica – Watts Up With That?

Texas to boost grid resilience with more wind & solar, according to Clean Technica – Watts Up With That?

Guest “I really couldn’t make this kind of slate up if I tried” by David Middleton

Reporting from the Ice Mud Station Dallas … The pool is now ice-free for the first time (the recording only started recently …;).

Texas will add 35 gigawatts of wind & solar over the next 3 years – increasing grid stability
By Zachary Shahan
Published 16 hours ago

The news of the week – well beyond CleanTechnica – was clear that Texas and some neighboring regions have frozen over and lost power. The vast majority of the decommissioned power plants were thermal power plants (mostly natural gas). They weren’t equipped enough for the cold. A number of wind turbines also failed because nobody had bought the “cold weather package”.



To the extent that Texas is bringing wind and sun into the grid, these plans were made long before Winter Storm Younger Dryas. The idea that this is for the purpose of increasing grid stability is completely delayed.

Solar does not play a role in the Texas power grid. While wind is a key component of our grid, it has generated 20-24% of our electricity in recent years. It totally failed in the past 10 days. When the temperatures in the DFW area fell below normal on February 7th, the wind power dropped from 35-65% of capacity to 10-30% from February 9th to 18th. During the same period, coal and natural gas power plants were very quickly almost fully utilized. As of Sunday February 14th, the system was functioning normally. When temperatures in the DFW area dropped from 20 to 40 ° F below normal, some thermal power plants went out due to a variety of weather and demand fluctuations, and on Monday morning ERCOT was in full emergency mode.

DFW temperatures (dashed lines) and wind, natural gas and coal production as a percentage of estimated capacity.

The graphic above is preliminary, a “work in progress”. I’m still working on collecting more detailed data on capacity by fuel type. However, it clearly shows that more wind power capacity would have been just as useless as a bull’s mammary glands.

ERCOT’s biggest mistake was the lack of reliable backup capacity for wind power … ERCOT expected that wind power would fail under these conditions. It seems to me that the only way ERCOT could have survived this unscathed would have been for natural gas, coal and nuclear power to deliver (20-) 80-90% of capacity for 7-10 days in record-cold weather. 40 ° F below normal in the DFW range) with a system designed for hotter than normal weather. This was not a realistic expectation. ERCOT was also not sufficiently proactive in implementing rotating outages, and when it did, they were not able to rotate the outages appropriately.

Regarding the “cold weather package” Horstschiefer …

Why wind turbines in New York, unlike those in Texas, keep working in bitterly cold weather
Updated February 19, 2021

Syracuse, NY – The Texas Republicans quickly blamed the state’s wind turbines for the massive power outages millions of Texans experienced this week during an unusual explosion of cold weather.

Texas is a leader in wind energy. Almost 15,000 wind turbines produced 23% of the Lone Star State’s electricity last year. Many of the turbines were shut down as the cold hit Texas.


But we couldn’t help but wonder why wind turbines in cold-weather states like New York seem to run smoothly in winter when their counterparts in Texas can’t.


“There are a variety of cold weather and anti-icing technologies used in wind turbines in the coldest regions,” she said. “These technologies help prevent ice from forming on turbine blades, detect ice when it cannot be prevented, and safely remove ice when it is detected.”


The sensors can even detect which blades have ice and which don’t. When ice is detected, the heating elements in the blades turn on to melt the ice.

For safety reasons, the turbines will shut down while the heating elements melt from the ice, Kurt said. That way, there’s no chance ice will fly off spinning blades, potentially damaging the turbines, or worse, hitting anyone on the ground, she said.

“We’d rather the ice fall under the turbine,” she said.

As soon as the ice is removed, the turbines are switched on again and the blades can safely turn in the wind again.

In Texas, wind turbines don’t come with such de-icing kits because operators there never expected to need them, Kurt said.

“Turbines in Texas are built for the temperatures they typically get in Texas, which is 110 degrees, not 10 degrees,” she said. “It’s a matter of cost.”

Rick Moriarty covers business news and consumer issues. Syracuse.com

So … heating elements (which require electricity) are melting the ice and the wind turbines have to be shut down to defrost them? Maybe that’s why New York’s wind turbines generate almost no electricity for the entire winter.


Unlike New York, Texas doesn’t have a nice, stable winter power load. Our load is very different and our wind turbines can generate over 40% of our electricity on favorable days. Even at the height of our most recent deep freeze, wind turbines were generating more electricity in Texas than in New York. There are days when wind turbines produce more electricity in Texas than all of NYISO.


Texas needs to winterize at least some of its most reliable generating capacity: natural gas, coal, and / or nuclear. Texas doesn’t have to emulate what doesn’t work in New York.

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