Snowpocalypse 2021, ERCOT, & How to Beat the Texas Energy Grid
This past weekend has sent Texans scrambling for blankets, coats, candles, and batteries as snowpocalypse 2021 brought some of the lowest temperatures we’ve seen on record in quite some time. Prompting many to ask how the highest energy producing state in the country can’t keep up with the demand for energy during a week of below freezing temperatures.
Texas is the only state that has its own electric grid, the Texas Interconnect, that is operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Every other state shares the other two grids – the Western Interconnect and the Eastern Interconnect. Dan Woodfin, senior director of system operations at ERCOT, was quoted saying that, “Beginning around 11:00 p.m. [Sunday night], multiple generating units began tripping off-line in rapid progression due to the severe cold weather,” This basically translates to frozen gas lines led to large-scale failure – approximately 30 Gigawatts (GW) of output loss.
Fast forward to Tuesday and “rolling” blackouts – some of which have lasted more than 30 hours for some – have left millions shivering without power. This cold is rare, but in any blackout condition, having energy is a necessity for survival.
Sustainable energy systems such as solar or wind harness their own power and contrary to misguided popular belief they operate tremendously well in snow. In fact, they operate better with snow.
Millions of Americans use these green energy sources in parts of the country that are colder than Texas without failure. On a residential scale, solar always outshines the competition.
Regardless of Snowpocalypse 2021, each summer we experience extremely high temperatures in Texas and energy costs soar as the demand rises for all Texans as we crank up the air conditioning. Wouldn’t you like to lock in the same rate every month? Power even when it’s hot? Or maybe really cold? Maybe even make some money back from the excess energy you don’t use? Or what about just being prepared when the grid goes black?
Energy prices are expected to rise at a rate of 7.7% over the next 20 years according to the US Energy Information Association. Finite resources will diminish and become harder to extract and process making it unable to keep up with demand and a shifting climate.
For those who worry about the reliability of the solar industry, solar energy actually overperformed the ERCOT model on Monday by ~1GW while almost 30GW of gas and coal plants went offline. Solar is the way of the future and no doubt the reliable choice in situations where the deregulated Texas grid fails its users. At Wells Solar we are paving the way for Central Texans to take back their power from the grid, lock in an affordable rate, and even give back energy they are not using back to the grid. As one of five Tesla Energy Certified Installers we also help you store energy for situations just like this past weekend.
Having an emergency power source like the Tesla Powerwall allows you to save additional money on your energy bill. You use it during peak periods like when it’s blistering hot or maybe that rare freeze. Panels generate energy during the day when the sun is out; most utilities charge higher rates during peak usage periods (typically around 5-10pm, when people are home from work and school). By ensuring you have usable energy stored in a solar battery backup, the power is in your hands. Whether it’s saving money on any given night or saving your family from an emergency power outage, solar battery storage is a smart investment for all homeowners. Not only will you have a positive impact on your environment but also increase the value of your home as you do so. We make switching to renewable energy easy, hassle-free, and $0 down to get started.
We care about you, your home, and our planet at Wells Solar. Each solar install is backed by our 25 year parts & labor warranty on top of the manufacturer warranty for each of the high-quality solar products we use – quality service that lasts long after your installation. Each solar install also bring us closer to achieving a greener tomorrow – independent from the grid. Give us a call today at 888.242.0466 and learn how to save money on energy every day with a solar system powered by the sun and harnessed by Wells Solar.