Frigid Temps Threaten Blackouts On Texas Power Grid

Jan 7 2014, 4:30am CST | by

Frigid Temps Threaten Blackouts On Texas Power Grid
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

It’s usually in the Dog Days of summer when the air conditioners are roaring that Texas worries about outstripping its power grid. But on Monday morning, with temperatures plunging to 10 degrees in Fort Worth, Texans’ power consumption soared.

What’s more, the cold and other problems knocked out a handful of power plants, amounting to 3,700 mw of electricity. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued an emergency alert Monday morning. Any worse and the next step would have been rolling blackouts. To make ends meet Monday morning, Texas had to import electricity from outside the state, including Mexico.

With another Three Dog Night forecast for overnight into Tuesday, the stresses continue.

The cold also impacts oil and gas wells across the region. Valves freeze up, and fracking fluids don’t flow like they’re supposed to.

Naturally, the roughnecks working North Dakota’s Bakken fields (where its expected to get as low as -40 degrees tonight) would laugh at their wussy Texas counterparts complaining of 10 degrees, but we’re not used to temperatures like this down here.

The last time it got this cold in Texas was 2011, when hundreds of natural gas wells froze shut and the state set a winter power usage record of 57,265 MW. Tuesday is expected to hit 56,818 MW.

There is money to be made from such emergency situations. Power prices capped out at $5,000 per megawatt-hour Monday morning. The average power price is more like $50 per Mwh. That could mean a short-lived windfall for the likes of Energy Future Holdings, NRG Energy, Calpine and Panda Power.

A few more cold spells like this might be enough to convince these companies to invest in some new power plants.

America's Worst Corporate Air Polluters

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Penguins Playoff Tickets Down 25% After Blue Jackets Take Home Ice Advantage
With their win last night against the Penguins, the Columbus Blue Jackets have won their first game in the NHL playoffs and brought the first NHL playoff win to the Buckeye State.  Despite that historic achievement,...
 
 
Community Colleges Are The New Business Incubators
The rumor is community colleges are fallback schools because of price or easy, last-minute admissions. But that isn’t exactly the case anymore. Community colleges are now in the business of providing entrepreneurial...
 
 
Life Insurance and the 831(b) Captive Insurance Company - Wait For The Test Case Before Signing Up
There is an old saying about life insurance: “Life insurance isn’t bought, it is sold.” The public doesn’t exactly clamor to buy life insurance, and if you don’t believe me then just try to find a life insurance store...
 
 
Cesar Chavez Flick Lacks Nuance, Economic Literacy
The new biopic Cesar Chavez film is an emotional tale that breathes new life into the story of the important Latino labor organizer who died in 1993. Yet the film has multiple inaccuracies and doesn’t give justice to...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Penguins Playoff Tickets Down 25% After Blue Jackets Take Home Ice Advantage
With their win last night against the Penguins, the Columbus Blue Jackets have won their first game in the NHL playoffs and brought the first NHL playoff win to the Buckeye State.  Despite that historic achievement,...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Community Colleges Are The New Business Incubators
The rumor is community colleges are fallback schools because of price or easy, last-minute admissions. But that isn’t exactly the case anymore. Community colleges are now in the business of providing entrepreneurial...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Life Insurance and the 831(b) Captive Insurance Company - Wait For The Test Case Before Signing Up
There is an old saying about life insurance: “Life insurance isn’t bought, it is sold.” The public doesn’t exactly clamor to buy life insurance, and if you don’t believe me then just try to find a life insurance store...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Cesar Chavez Flick Lacks Nuance, Economic Literacy
The new biopic Cesar Chavez film is an emotional tale that breathes new life into the story of the important Latino labor organizer who died in 1993. Yet the film has multiple inaccuracies and doesn’t give justice to...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Why Jose Mourinho Needs To Worry About His Head When Chelsea Plays Atletico Madrid In UEFA Champions League
There are so many sidebars to the UEFA Champions semi-final between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea that is easy to forget that a fantastic encounter is in prospect forget. The Managers While Jose Mourinho needs little or...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Sherry Turkle's Solution To The Downside Of Screen Relations: Conversation
If Neil deGrasse Tyson from Cosmos has become the  bard of deep time, then Sherry Turkle is the bard of the present moment. Her stories, most recently Alone Together, tell us what our emerging technologies are doing to...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Cooperation And Corruption: Brothers From The Same Hormonal Mother
We humans contend with quite a few wicked flip sides in our personal and interpersonal lives. Gratitude can transform into resentment. Concern can morph into apathy. Love can quickly become hate. New research digs...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Sherry Turkle's Solution To The Downside Of Screen Relations: Conversation
If Neil deGrasse Tyson from Cosmos has become the  bard of deep time, then Sherry Turkle is the bard of the present moment. Her stories, most recently Alone Together, tell us what our emerging technologies are doing to...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
It's Final -- Corn Ethanol Is Of No Use
OK, can we please stop pretending biofuel made from corn is helping the planet and the environment? With huge subsidies for ethanol in gasoline, with all States now selling gasoline having some ethanol blend, and a...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Box Office: 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Opens To Mighty $47M Overseas
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 actually opened in 14 overseas markets this weekend. It opened in the UK on Wednesday and more markets over the long Easter weekend. By the time the film opens in America on May 2nd, it will...
Read more on Business Balla
 
 
Auto Balla Sexy Balla Sport Balla TV Balla Politics Balla Movie Balla Apple Balla Business Balla Ad Balla Celebrity Balla