Texas’ Wind Power Generation Cut In Half Due To Winter Storm
Texas’ average power production has decreased after almost half of the state’s wind turbines were frozen over the weekend in a winter storm. Parts of Texas reportedly are experiencing temperatures of (-18C) over the weekend, causing over 2 million homes and businesses to experience power outages.
The Austin American-Statesman reported, “Wind farms across the state generate up to a combined 25,100 megawatts of energy. But unusually moist winter conditions in West Texas brought on by the weekend’s freezing rain and historically low temperatures have iced many of those wind turbines to a halt,” they added. “As of Sunday morning, those iced turbines comprise 12,000 megawatts of Texas’ installed wind generation capacity, although those West Texas turbines don’t typically spin to their full generation capacity this time of year.”
A photo began circulating on Twitter which shows a helicopter is using fossil fuel-derived chemicals to defrost a wind turbine, showing that only relying on renewable energy leads to many unforeseen complications.
“Wind power has been the fastest-growing source of energy in Texas’ power grid. In 2015 winder power generation supplied 11% of Texas’ energy grid. Last year it supplied 23% and overtook coal as the system’s second-largest source of energy after natural gas,” the Austin American-Statesman added. “The frozen turbines come as low temperatures strain the state’s power grid and force operators to call for immediate statewide conservation efforts, like unplugging non-essential appliances, turning down residential heaters and minimize use of electric lighting.”
President Joe Biden has approved the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to directly intervene with recovery efforts.
According to a statement released by the White House, “The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in all 254 Texas counties.”
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