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

Japanese government concerned by yen's rapid fall against dollar
Tokyo, Nov 21 (IANS/EFE) Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso Friday expressed concern over the sharp depreciation of the yen against the dollar this week, and said abrupt movements in the foreign exchange market were not beneficial to the Japanese economy.
 
 
WHO declares DRC Ebola-free
Geneva, Nov 21 (IANS) The World Health Organisation (WHO) Friday declared the end of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
 
 
Ultra rich population getting richer: Study
Washington, Nov 21 (IANS) Only 0.004 percent of the world's high networth adult population controls almost 13 percent of the world's total wealth, according to a new study.
 
 
Morocco, US organisation sign MoU on 'Enterprise City' project
Marrakech, Nov 21 (IANS) The Moroccan government and US institution Babson Global have signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of an "Enterprise City", a city dedicated to business, in the North African country.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Obama set to be chief guest at India's R-Day (Lead, changing dateline)
Washington, Nov 21 (IANS) Signifying a renewal of the India-US strategic partnership, President Barack Obama has accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's invitation to join India's Republic Day celebrations as chief...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Chinese court upholds life sentence against Uyghur activist
Beijing, Nov 21 (IANS/EFE) A court in western China has upheld the conviction and life sentence handed down against Uyghur activist Ilham Tohti, who appealed the sentence when it was first passed in September, one of...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Matt Smith to star in Patient Zero
Matt Smith has been cast in 'Patient Zero'. The former 'Doctor Who' star has signed on to appear in the infection film which will see him have to cope with the aftermath of a worldwide viral pandemic across the Earth....
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Mick Jagger praises 'amazing' Chadwick Boseman
Sir Mick Jagger claims Chadwick Boseman is ''amazing'' as James Brown in the singer's biopic 'Get On Up'. The 71-year-old Rolling Stones rocker co-produced the movie and praised the young actor for his portrayal of the...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
South African president calls for end to racism in sports
Johannesburg, Nov 21 (IANS) South African President Jacob Zuma Friday called for global efforts to end racism in sports. South Africa adds its voice to the billions of others throughout the world who are determined to...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Sheamus wants reality show for WWE Superstars
Sheamus wants to appear in a reality TV show about the WWE Superstars. The 36-year-old star believes the success of E! series 'Total Divas', which follows the lives of the female competitors in the company, has shown...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Bill Murray: Actors are heroes
Bill Murray thinks actors are heroes. The 'Ghostbusters' star - who recently had an entire day dedicated to him at Toronto Film Festival - claims people admire actors so much because they get to escape reality by...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Robin Williams' son: We're doing OK
Robin Williams' son says the late star's family are still adapting ''to the new normal'' following his father's death. The Hollywood actor died from asphyxia due to hanging at his home in August aged 63 and his eldest...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Jennifer Lopez exfoliates with diamonds
Jennifer Lopez exfoliates her legs with diamonds. The 'On the Floor' hitmaker reportedly swears by a $250 Australian-made body scrub that is made with ''diamond powder'' to keep cellulite at bay. A source close to the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Indian golfers Atwal, Rashid tied 15th in Manila Masters
Manila, Nov 21 (IANS) Indian golfers Arjun Atwal and Rashid Khan shared the 15th position after the second round of the $1 million Manila Masters at the par-72 Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club here Friday....
Read more on Sport Balla