Texas Winter Storm and Power Outages

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Article:
With millions of Texas residents still without power amid frigid temperatures, conservative commentators have falsely claimed that wind turbines and solar energy were primarily to blame.

“We should never build another wind turbine in Texas,” read a Tuesday Facebook post from Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. “The experiment failed big time.”

“This is a perfect example of the need for reliable energy sources like natural gas & coal,” tweeted U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana, on Tuesday.

In reality, failures in natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy systems were responsible for nearly twice as many outages as frozen wind turbines and solar panels, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s power grid, said in a press conference Tuesday.


The situation is still ongoing, and very serious, with people dying from the cold and from carbon monoxide poisoning as they try to stay warm. As with any serious situation in the news, conspiracy theories will arise.

The mainstream media is doing a good job in explaining the disinformation regarding overreliance on renewables being the cause (it's mostly natural gas) - but we should expect such disinformation to persist amongst people who have limited and inaccurate information sources. There will be also more obscure and extreme theories, such as the crisis being deliberately manufactured (even to the extent of creating the weather conditions).
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Article:
The state has a generating capacity of about 67,000 megawatts in the winter compared with a peak capacity of about 86,000 megawatts in the summer. The gap between the winter and summer supply reflects power plants going offline for maintenance during months when demand typically is less intense and there’s not as much energy coming from wind and solar sources.

But planning for this winter didn’t imagine temperatures cold enough to freeze natural gas supply lines and stop wind turbines from spinning. By Wednesday, 46,000 megawatts of power were offline statewide — 28,000 from natural gas, coal and nuclear plants and 18,000 from wind and solar, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s power grid.

“Every one of our sources of power supply underperformed,” Daniel Cohan, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University in Houston, tweeted. “Every one of them is vulnerable to extreme weather and climate events in different ways. None of them were adequately weatherized or prepared for a full realm of weather and conditions.”


The full article is a great explanation of the situation. It does include a plausible conspiracy theory:

Article:
The staggering imbalance between Texas’ energy supply and demand also caused prices to skyrocket from roughly $20 per megawatt hour to $9,000 per megawatt hour in the state’s freewheeling wholesale power market.

That raised questions whether some power generators who buy in the wholesale market may have had a profit motive to avoid buying more natural gas and simply shut down instead.


This seems quite plausible, as your costs going to 450x what they were last week could be financially crippling. The prices are so high as there's an unregulated market, and the utilities are contractually obligated to buy power regardless of cost. Of course it's likely illegal for them to shut down instead. So they would have to illegally conspire to do so.

This is somewhat reminiscent of the Enron affair after market deregulation in California.

Article:
After passage of the deregulation law, California had a total of 38 Stage 3 rolling blackouts declared, until federal regulators intervened during June 2001.[58] These blackouts occurred as a result of a poorly designed market system that was manipulated by traders and marketers, as well as from poor state management and regulatory oversight. Subsequently, Enron traders were revealed as intentionally encouraging the removal of power from the market during California's energy crisis by encouraging suppliers to shut down plants to perform unnecessary maintenance, as documented in recordings made at the time.[59][60] These acts contributed to the need for rolling blackouts, which adversely affected many businesses dependent upon a reliable supply of electricity, and inconvenienced a large number of retail customers. This scattered supply increased the price, and Enron traders were thus able to sell power at premium prices, sometimes up to a factor of 20x its normal peak value.


Enron's Califonia actions are a classic example of a real and significant conspiracy - one that I cite in the first paragraph of the introduction to my book. Given the public anger in Texas right now, it seems possible that similar things may be revealed in subsequent investigations.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
i read the same thing happened a decade ago and once before that. but both times the outages only lasted like 4 or 5 hours, so the issues they knew existed with their power system were basically ignored. I wonder if they even had turbines back then. hhmmm...

Article:
Moreover, some of the same equipment, the [2011] report noted, had failed during previous cold snaps. One in December 1989 prompted the state’s grid operator to resort to system-wide rolling blackouts for the first time.


one resident in the article even said (paraphrase) "I'd rather suffer these rare occurrences then have our electric prices double". which is a fair point. except i also heard water issues are affecting people who can't get dialysis etc. (apparently you need water pressure for dialysis).

as far as the wind turbines (which might be mentioned in one of your articles), apparently there is a de-icing kit they could have bought but they didn't. even in the North East we know you need winterizing kits for your generators or they might not start for you.

Horrible situation for the people of Texas.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
This wiki page makes it sound like the wind turbines were first installed in 1999 ?
Article:
The first 80-meter tower was erected at Big Spring, Texas in 1999.[9]
1613674082210.png


but they had the same grid issues in 1989
Article:
In the 1989 storm, wind chills reached 14 degrees below zero in Texas, forcing power plants to operate below capacity or fail to start altogether. And after that storm, as with the 2011 episode, regulators issued a slate of recommendations aimed at improving winterization.

“These recommendations were not mandatory, and over the course of time implementation lapsed,” FERC and NERC said in their 357-page report in 2011. “Many of the generators that experienced outages in 1989 failed again in 2011.”
 

Fallingdown

Active Member
I’ll try this again
With millions of Texas residents still without power amid frigid temperatures, conservative commentators have falsely claimed that wind turbines and solar energy were primarily to blame.
i’m no longer convinced on “falsely” reported.

About a month ago I was reading this report on the outage. At page 29 note 41 there was a link to the timeline of what systems went down when.

It’s no longer there but I took screenshots. https://energy.utexas.edu/sites/default/files/UTAustin (2021) EventsFebruary2021TexasBlackout 20210714.pdf

The quality isn’t that good on the GIF . I’ll post a few SS if you want more information ask. I’ve got the first two days of data.


922CD838-266D-4612-B2B7-BC16092C80F5.gifA5D79548-BBAA-4597-96A1-AF7D8FD3B14B.gif0B17A67B-FD87-42D8-B46A-37DF2F74942D.png1341D08C-E84E-4637-A947-E1BFA9C37769.pngB74038E0-7DA6-4F59-929F-8507B4F4E33C.png

Not to mention I’d like to hear why this data was deleted from a four month old report.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
So lets say there were 100 turbines that were responsible for 1% of the power generation and 1 gas plant doing the other 99%. Then really it wouldn't matter how many turbines failed if the gas plant failed it would be the main caase of the power outage

Do you know the breakdown?
 

Fallingdown

Active Member
So lets say there were 100 turbines that were responsible for 1% of the power generation and 1 gas plant doing the other 99%. Then really it wouldn't matter how many turbines failed if the gas plant failed it would be the main caase of the power outage

Do you know the breakdown?
This was like most other power outages was a cascading event . Meaning some initial event started the process. You can’t get much more initial than wind energy failing massively on the first two days.


The report says a loss of power contributed to natural gas pipelines outages. It wasn’t just for the power plants either many Texans experience outages.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I believe it's still there, looks like ERCOT does geoblocking.

I’ve got the first two days of data.
Data from the 10th to 12th without the data on how long the outage lasted is worthless when the blackout began on the 15th.
Note also that power figures are given as "seasonal max MW (HSL)", wind power averages at 30-40% of that.

From a 2014 Ercot presentation "Optimizing Wind Generation in ERCOT Nodal Market" https://cms.ferc.gov/sites/default/files/2020-05/20140623080759-M2%2520-%25201%2520-%2520FERC2014_Optimizing_Wind_in_ERCOT.pdf :
SmartSelect_20211201-214017_Samsung Notes.jpg
I think they may have doubled wind power capacity, but it's still not that much.
SmartSelect_20211201-214108_Samsung Notes.jpg
Note that Texas tends to not have a lot of wind at noon; ERCOT needs to have enough capacity to do mostly without wind. Note that the y-axis does not start at 0.
SmartSelect_20211201-214329_Samsung Notes.jpg
This means that wind generators need to frequently update their status depending on the forecasts.

Note that the outages table lists seasonal max. HSL, not the current projected HSL.

From https://energy.utexas.edu/sites/default/files/UTAustin (2021) EventsFebruary2021TexasBlackout 20210714.pdf :
Wind power capacity actually increased by 4 MW due to the strong winds driving the installations that were still working!
SmartSelect_20211201-221559_Samsung Notes.jpg
It wasn't wind that ate up the reserves.
SmartSelect_20211201-222123_Samsung Notes.jpg


SmartSelect_20211201-222629_Samsung Notes.jpg

SmartSelect_20211201-224512_Samsung Notes.jpg
SmartSelect_20211201-225530_Samsung Notes.jpg


ERCOT had to "black out" 20 GW of electricity. They didn't do that because 5 GW of wind power was out; they did it because 1.3 GW nuclear, 4 GW coal and 25 GW gas power were also out. And these blackouts affected the natural gas supply, same as 10 years before.
 
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Fallingdown

Active Member
Data from the 10th to 12th without the data on how long the outage lasted is worthless when the blackout began on the 15th.

How could you possibly know that the drop in generation didn’t tribute to the ongoing blackout?

That’s conjecture

From your post

Failures within the natural gas system began prior to electrical outages. Days
before ERCOT called for blackouts
, natural gas was already being curtailed to
some natural gas consumers, including power plants.

What is my phone and that report does state that initial outage is affected distribution pipeline and work isolated to powerplants.,[/quote]

Yes ternal temperature had a lot left to do with the freezing up the natural gas lines than the loss of power/Air pressure.

For example, gas flowing through a pipeline at 70°F and 800 psi will not see any effects of freezing. However, if you cut the pressure in the pipeline to 100 psi, the temperature of the gas will drop nearly 50°F, plummeting it below freezing. If that gas has any water vapor or condensate present, it can lead to freezing problems.

https://asgmt.com/wp-content/uploads/pdf-docs/2011/1/T06.pdf

Now I can’t guarantee it was the pressure because that’s conjecture. But the evidence sure seems to be lining up.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
No

They aided the event.

I don’t deal in speculation. It’s highly unlikely the windmills went off-line on from it not be windy during a winter storm.,
jarlmai argues that ERCOT needs to plan for low levels of wind power as a part of normal operations (even when there is no winter storm), and that it's therefore unlikely (because it would be spectacularly bad planning) that wind power outages can bring gas power down (even if they are caused by a winter storm with snow and ice).

Wind power is just electricity, same as any other; if you still have enough to keep gas power plants supplied (and if you actually prioritise gas power plants, and gas production and distribution facilities), a lack of wind power can't shut a gas power plant down.
 

Fallingdown

Active Member
jarlmai argues that ERCOT needs to plan for low levels of wind power as a part of normal operations (even when there is no winter storm), and that it's therefore unlikely (because it would be spectacularly bad planning) that wind power outages can bring gas power down (even if they are caused by a winter storm with snow and ice).

Wind power is just electricity, same as any other; if you still have enough to keep gas power plants supplied (and if you actually prioritise gas power plants, and gas production and distribution facilities), a lack of wind power can't shut a gas power plant down.
I’ve been wondering when the FERC report was going to come out. It came out on the 18th .

Page 19 in the synopsis

During the week of February 7, ERCOT and SPP experienced rising load, as well as increasing generating unit outages, primarily caused by wind turbine blade freezing as a result of freezing precipitation, and natural gas fuel supply issues. Although ERCOT and SPP issued several alerts, they did not have to take any emergency actions because enough generation remained online to meet load.

https://www.ferc.gov/media/february...and-south-central-united-states-ferc-nerc-and

The winter storm.

More specifically, the fact that plant operators had failed to weatherize their equipment as mandated, and therefore experienced outages from the weather.
Ambient temperature isn’t of that great of a concern. The biggest concern for well head and pipeline freeze up is loss of pressure.

The best way to prevent freezing is to anticipate where the problem is most likely to occur. Areas where there will be a drop in pressure or restriction in flow are likely spots for freezing. Temperatures drop about 7°F for every 100 psi pressure reduction, so even if the flow stream of gas is at a temperature above freezing, that temperature could drop below freezing with a reduction in pressure.
For example, gas flowing through a pipeline at 70°F and 800 psi will not see any effects of freezing. However, if you cut the pressure in the pipeline to 100 psi, the temperature of the gas will drop nearly 50°F, plummeting it below freezing. If that gas has any water vapor or condensate present, it can lead to freezing problems

https://asgmt.com/wp-content/uploads/pdf-docs/2011/1/T06.pdf
The winter storm.

More specifically, the fact that plant operators had failed to weatherize their equipment as mandated, and therefore experienced outages from the weather.

jarlmai argues that ERCOT needs to plan for low levels of wind power as a part of normal operations (even when there is no winter storm), and that it's therefore unlikely (because it would be spectacularly bad planning) that wind power outages can bring gas power down (even if they are caused by a winter storm with snow and ice).

Wind power is just electricity, same as any other; if you still have enough to keep gas power plants supplied (and if you actually prioritise gas power plants, and gas production and distribution facilities), a lack of wind power can't shut a gas power plant down.


That’s not germane to the subject. At issue was whether winter weather cause the windmills to fail first.

and that it's therefore unlikely (because it would be spectacularly bad planning) that wind power outages can bring gas power down (even if they are caused by a winter storm with snow and ice).

Sure they can fail when it 90°outside.

But during a winter storm residential demand spikes.
Wind power is just electricity, same as any other; if you still have enough to keep gas power plants supplied (and if you actually prioritise gas power plants, and gas production and distribution facilities), a lack of wind power can't shut a gas power plant down.

Now we are into solutions and I can’t argue with that take.
 
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NoParty

Senior Member.

Fallingdown

Active Member
Um, I explicitly asked how you're speculating that A led to B.


Are you asking me to do the speculating for you? My original question remains.

I gave you my reasoning did you read the screenshots and see the overwhelming evidence of wind turbines failures ?
Read the report and read the whole thread. I’ve given my reasoning . So now it’s up to you to prove windmill failures weren’t a catalyst of the outages.

I’ve play this game with you guys before and it is a game. Nothing I say will satisfy you I could give no link you would approve.

Anything I repeat in a summary you’ll ask for the link again even when it’s already given.
 
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NoParty

Senior Member.
I gave you my reasoning did you read the screenshots and see the overwhelming evidence of wind turbines failures ?
Read the report and read the whole thread. I’ve given my reasoning . So now it’s up to you to prove windmill failures weren’t a catalyst of the outages.

I’ve play this game with you guys before and it is a game. Nothing I say will satisfy you I could give no link you would approve.

Anything I repeat in a summary you’ll ask for the link again even when it’s already given.
The answer to:
"How are you proposing that some wind turbine blade icing cascaded into massive natural gas failure?"

is not "...it’s up to you to prove windmill failures weren’t a catalyst of the outages."

I'm not the kind to keep asking. I just wanted to give you a chance to support your assertions.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
That’s not germane to the subject. At issue was whether winter weather cause the windmills to fail first.
No, the issue is your claim that there is a causal link: that because wind turbines are freezing, gas power fails.

Now the grid as a whole was working before the 15th. So any gas supply/power failures before that blackout can't have been related to electricity. But electricity is the only thing that connects wind turbines and the gas power infrastructure. Therefore, the gas power/supply failures leading up to February 15th were not caused by wind power outages.
And now that we have established that wind power didn't cause those failures, it appears likely that the gas power failures on the 15th were also not caused by wind power outages. You need to bring better evidence to establish this link than pointing at what failed first.

Have another look at this (UTexas paper, from my post above):
SmartSelect_20211201-222123_Samsung Notes.jpg

‐--------------

By the way, nuclear power failed first when it froze. And the first 5 nominal (!) GW of power in gas and wind fail fairly simultaneously when it freezes, compare the level at 12 hours. Actual wind is ~33% of nominal on average. From the UTexas paper:
Screenshot_20211202-130227_Samsung Notes.jpg
 

taivaantuntija

New Member
I've painstakingly tabulated the PDF I linked earlier to a nice Excel-friendly CSV (attached to post) so you can take a look at yourself.

edit: New version, some formatting errors corrected
 

Attachments

  • Unit_Outage_Data_20210312.csv
    147 KB · Views: 13
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Ambient temperature isn’t of that great of a concern. The biggest concern for well head and pipeline freeze up is loss of pressure.
From your T06.pdf:
Notice once ambient temperature drops near 32⁰F, and equipment cools down correspondingly, you'll begin to see this problem.
Constricted places (such as valves) freeze first because of the slightly lower pressure there (Venturi effect).

Here, we actually have a causal link between freezing ambient temperature and gas lines freezing: because the temperature of the equipment drops below 32⁰F, freezing is almost inevitable, regardless of pressure.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
I’ve been wondering when the FERC report was going to come out. It came out on the 18th .

https://www.ferc.gov/media/february...and-south-central-united-states-ferc-nerc-and
Unfortunately, this won't load for me; could someone post the PDF, please?

From the press release about the report:
Article:
Notably, a combination of freezing issues (44.2 percent) and fuel issues (31.4 percent) caused 75.6 percent of the unplanned generating unit outages, derates and failures to start. Of particular note, protecting just four types of power plant components from icing and freezing could have reduced outages by 67 percent in the ERCOT region, [...]

Today’s final report provides more details:

  • 81 percent of freeze-related generating unit outages occurred at temperatures above the units’ stated ambient design temperature.
  • 87 percent of unplanned generation outages due to fuel issues were related to natural gas, predominantly related to production and processing issues, while 13 percent involved issues with other fuels such as coal or fuel oil.
  • Natural gas fuel supply issues were caused by natural gas production declines, with 43.3 percent of natural gas production declines caused by freezing temperatures and weather, and 21.5 percent caused by midstream, wellhead or gathering facility power losses, which could be attributed either to rolling blackouts or weather-related outages such as downed power lines.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
From a paper, authored mainly by UTexas people:
Article:
Shortly after midnight on the 15th, 8000 MW of gas power plants shut down because of fuel shortages or freezing equipment and 2000 MW of wind went offline due to low winds, frozen equipment such as substations, or precipitation that caused ice formation on turbine blades [13]. With projected demand significantly exceeding supply, ERCOT ordered firm load shed (blackouts) on Monday the 15th at 1:25am to prevent the collapse of the grid (see Fig. 2 below)

1-s2.0-S2214629621001997-gr2.jpg

[...] While wind power provides more than 20% of the state’s electricity needs over the course of the year, it is a resource whose availability changes by location, time of day and time of year. As such, grid operators use seasonal expectations for wind’s contribution to grid generating capacity for their reliability planning. The forecast for this period suggested wind production would only provide about 7% of the state’s power demand [17], with an expected hourly output of 6.1 GW for wind compared to the installed capacity of 28 GW. Knowing this, ERCOT did not plan for much generation from wind during this period.

[...]

All major fuel sources underperformed against expectations save for solar. Natural gas was responsible for nearly ⅔ of the total deficit. Gas underperformed by 37% compared to its expected output – more than 18 GW below expectations – and was 21% below the extreme scenario. Coal was 43% below expectations and 28% below the extreme scenario. Wind was 46% below expected but better than the extreme weather scenario. One of Texas’ four nuclear reactors was offline for 2.5 days during the freeze due to a feedwater pump issue
[20], [21], [22], which meant that nuclear underperformed by about 20% (see Table 1 below).

Fuel Source​
Expected capacity (GW)Extreme Scenario Capacity (GW)Actual Average Generation (GW)
Deficit (GW)​
% Deficit [From Expected Capacity]​
Deficit Extreme Scenario (GW)​
% Deficit [From Extreme Scenario Capacity]​
Gas48.438.430.3−18.1−37%8.1−21%
Coal13.610.87.8−5.8−43%3−28%
Wind7.11.83.8−3.3−46%−2111%
Nuclear5.24.14.1−1.1−21%00%
Solar0.30.30.770.47157%−0.47157%

Source: ERCOT data compiled by Blake Shaffer.

[...]

The primary culprit for the electricity system failure was problems in electricity production from natural gas. About 40% of natural gas production was not available during the crisis. Texas’ gas, electricity, and water systems are inter-linked so failures in one of them can lead to cascading effects on the others [25]. The natural gas system relies on electricity, and the electrical system relies on gas. Thus, constrained gas limits the ability to generate electricity and constrained electricity limits the ability to supply gas which in turn further limits the ability to generate power in a vicious circle. Power outages in turn can lead to failures in the water supply [10].

Ravikumar summarized four failures in supply chains that ultimately led to a sharp drop in electricity from gas at the height of the crisis, (1) freezing at natural gas wells, (2) freezing of gathering lines, (3) power outages at compressor stations, and (4) equipment malfunctions at power plants [26]. Power plants themselves faced their own challenges operating in cold weather, as many power stations in the southern United States are not contained in buildings; doing so reduces the risk of overheating during warm periods but leaves them exposed during the cold [27].

One reason gas producers lost power is that many of them intentionally sign up for interruptible power contracts as a way to reduce their electricity bills. Furthermore, a significant number of them did not fill out a short form requesting that they be identified as critical infrastructure, compounding the problem. Electricity providers unwittingly shut power off to some gas production and processing facilities, which reduced gas pressure further, thereby forcing more generating capacity offline when fuel was unavailable for gas-fired electricity plants. According to ERCOT, more than 9 GW of outages, about 20% of the total and enough for 1.8 million homes, resulted from insufficient gas supplies reaching power plants [28]. A similar sequence of events had occurred in 2011, and post-event regulatory reviews had warned of this problem’s ongoing risk, but little had been done by the gas industry to rectify it. A number of producers entered the market since 2011 and were unaware of the form they needed to fill out to request this designation. For example, in the midst of the freeze, Oncor, a utility, turned on the power to 150 gas facilities in the Permian Basin after receiving frantic calls that they had been turned off [29]. In addition, the shale boom in the Permian mostly occurred since 2011, which exacerbated risks: Permian gas production is highly electrified (and therefore affected by power outages) and liquids-rich (and therefore at risk of freeze-offs).

Another reason less capacity was available is that a number of thermal plants were down for scheduled maintenance to take advantage of Texas’ normally mild winters when demand is low. This schedule is typically interpreted as good planning because it was intended to ensure sufficient reserve in summer time. ERCOT in its seasonal winter maintenance schedule had forecast 4 GW of scheduled maintenance. Analysts from Wood Mackenzie wrote that the actual amount of plants down for outages in the week leading up to the freeze was more like 14 GW, consistent with what happens annually in so-called “shoulder season” when demand is light. ERCOT in the week prior to the freeze tried to induce some plants to come back by issuing a Operating Condition Notice, but they noted plants were unlikely to be able to secure gas on short notice and could and did disregard the request, with 14 GW still offline going in to Monday morning [30], [31].

[...]

Demand for power has to be tightly matched to supply. Grids based on alternating current need a frequency within a very narrow margin of 60 Hz in the U.S. to maintain stability. Below a frequency of 59 grids face cascading blackouts that can cause the entire grid to shut down. ERCOT thus avoided a complete shutdown which would have led to power outages for 26 million Texans covered by the Texas grid. On the morning of February 15, the Texas grid’s frequency declined to below 59.4 Hz for four minutes and 23 seconds. Had it remained there for a full 9 min, ERCOT said the grid would have collapsed, leaving much of the state in darkness (see Fig. 3) [9], [32], [33]. At its peak on February 17th, nearly 49% of the grid capacity (52.2 GW out of 107.5 GW was offline) [34].

1-s2.0-S2214629621001997-gr3.jpg

With this close call, the entire system was within minutes of collapse, which would have required a “black start” that could have taken days if not weeks (or even months) to implement. To restart would require a slow process of starting individual plants and then building the grid back up gradually.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
The blackouts were ordered between 1 and 2 am on February 15th. Wind power was delivering 5 GW at the time:
Article:
CURRENT_DAYCOP_HSL.png

Article:
rkDnn.png

And as a reminder, the capacities listed in the outages table are for 100% wind, which you never get:
Article:
CapFacs-by-year-SARA_small-1024x946.jpg

Wind power was predictable and performed better than forecast.
 

Fallingdown

Active Member
The answer to:
"How are you proposing that some wind turbine blade icing cascaded into massive natural gas failure?"

is not "...it’s up to you to prove windmill failures weren’t a catalyst of the outages."

I'm not the kind to keep asking. I just wanted to give you a chance to support your assertions.

that some wind turbine blade icing

“Some” By some are you calling around 200 windmill failures vs around 20 plus traditional generating plants In the first two days “some” ? you can find those numbers in my first post.

Tell you what here’s another point.

This is a report from the arcvera a windmill farm company.

As a result of the ERCOT operational crisis caused by cold weather 10-19 February 2021, the wind farms in ERCOT sustained financial impacts of more than $4 billion – more than twice their annual gross revenues.

https://arcvera.com/wp-content/uplo...ure-Feb-10-19-2021-Summary-of-Study-FINAL.pdf

Note they started having problems on 10 February. Those problems are listed in the timeline I supplied.


The systems that get gas from the earth aren’t properly built for cold weather. Operators in West Texas’ Permian Basin, one of the most productive oil fields in the world, are particularly struggling to bring natural gas to the surface, analysts said, as cold weather and snow close wells or cause power outages that prevent pumping the fossil fuels from the ground.

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/16/natural-gas-power-storm/

Loss of electricity strained natural gas supply line.



If I did I’ve never meant to take the position that windmills were the main cause.

My point is that documented wind mill failures beginning on day one (Feb 10) contributed to the power outages which escalated.

Unless someone can point to another major failure prior to the windmills going off-line. Occam's razor says they were the spark. (Pardon the pun)
 

Fallingdown

Active Member
Unfortunately, this won't load for me; could someone post the PDF, please?

From the press release about the report:
Article:
Notably, a combination of freezing issues (44.2 percent) and fuel issues (31.4 percent) caused 75.6 percent of the unplanned generating unit outages, derates and failures to start. Of particular note, protecting just four types of power plant components from icing and freezing could have reduced outages by 67 percent in the ERCOT region, [...]

Today’s final report provides more details:

  • 81 percent of freeze-related generating unit outages occurred at temperatures above the units’ stated ambient design temperature.
  • 87 percent of unplanned generation outages due to fuel issues were related to natural gas, predominantly related to production and processing issues, while 13 percent involved issues with other fuels such as coal or fuel oil.
  • Natural gas fuel supply issues were caused by natural gas production declines, with 43.3 percent of natural gas production declines caused by freezing temperatures and weather, and 21.5 percent caused by midstream, wellhead or gathering facility power losses, which could be attributed either to rolling blackouts or weather-related outages such as downed power lines.
I already pointed that out. Texas natural gas production was having problems before hand. Electrical problem preventing pumping escalated that problem. Hence the term cascading event.

You will never see me link a source without thoroughly reading it . There will be no gotcha moments with my own material .

You’re trying to put the burden on me of proving Windmills were EXCLUSIVELY responsible.

I never said that.
 

Fallingdown

Active Member
The blackouts were ordered between 1 and 2 am on February 15th. Wind power was delivering 5 GW at the time:
Yeah that’s what they do when the plant Is producing less power than demand of it. If they wait any longer it would trip circuit breaker to divert power and protect the circuit.

Wind power was predictable and performed better than forecast.

He just said they ordered a shut down. Which is it?

And my apologies but I don’t take blogs and solid sources.
 

Fallingdown

Active Member
Shortly after midnight on the 15th, 8000 MW of gas power plants shut down because of fuel shortages or freezing equipment and 2000 MW of wind went offline due to low winds, frozen equipment such as substations, or precipitation that caused ice formation on turbine blades
First off that’s Feb 15th well into the cascade.

wind went offline due to low winds, frozen equipment such as substations, or precipitation that caused ice formation on turbine blades

Which has been happening since the 10th and 11th

I've painstakingly tabulated the PDF I linked earlier to a nice Excel-friendly CSV (attached to post) so you can take a look at yourself.

edit: New version, some formatting errors corrected
Thank you
 

Fallingdown

Active Member
Others might call it "bugger all"
-- https://eu.caller.com/story/news/20...ar-wind-industry-especially-texas/3371120001/
Others might call it "bugger all"
-- https://eu.caller.com/story/news/20...ar-wind-industry-especially-texas/3371120001/

On shore Windmills individually can produce up to 7 MW .

he output of a wind turbine depends on the turbine’s size and the wind’s speed through the rotor. Wind turbines manufactured today have power ratings ranging from 250 watts to 7 MW.

https://globalwindday.org/ufaqs/much-electricity-can-one-wind-turbine-generate/



The “Units” reported down produced more energy than that. Which means there was more than one windmill to each “unit”.






https://www.metabunk.org/attachments/unit_outage_data_20210312-csv.48244/E7163FD0-C039-49B3-B896-2D5F3BB38CD8.png
 
Last edited:

Fallingdown

Active Member
That wasn’t my intent and if you took the whole thread in context you would know that. It’s silly to think anybody would make a point on only 200 windmills.

So yes you sir have won on a grammatical error.

My bad
 
Last edited:

Mendel

Senior Member.
Yeah that’s what they do when the plant Is producing less power than demand of it. If they wait any longer it would trip circuit breaker to divert power and protect the circuit.



He just said they ordered a shut down. Which is it?

And my apologies but I don’t take blogs and solid sources.
You misunderstand. "Load shedding" means that consumers are switched off, not generators.
They had to switch consumers off because too many gas power stations had dropped offline. Wind power was delivering 5 GW at the time, which was close to average and well over what it was expected to deliver in an emergency scenario.

I've given you multiple quotes that freezing was a big issue with gas power.
I've also quoted you graphs that after the blackout was ordered on the 15th, many more gas plants went offline because they or their suppliers suddenly lacked electricity. But this blaclout wasn't ordered because wind power failed.

Your argument that gas plants lacked electrical power before the blackouts is wrong. A lamp doesn't turn off unless you switch it off, and that only happened on the 15th.
 
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