July 16 — Construction continues on Blue Jay Solar Farm off Highway 164 in Iola. The green energy provider will house more than 650,000 solar panels across more than 3,000 acres. It’s expected to generate enough energy to power nearly 47,000 homes and businesses.

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Dallas Morning News (Commentary): Pat Wood helped create Texas’ electricity market, then he lost power for 36 hours in the freeze

July 18 — The Texas wholesale power market is designed to favor the lowest-cost electricity generation, which happens to be wind and solar. But renewables are as reliable as the weather, so they require back-up power generators. ERCOT relies on natural gas fired plants to step in when the wind and sun stop. But there’s little incentive for investors to build back-up plants, or any kind of fossil fuel plant, because the typical price of electricity is so low, they can’t make a profit.

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Houston Chronicle (Analysis): ERCOT’s emergency response program needs better oversight

July 15 — ERCOT confirmed in May that it forced dozens of natural gas facilities to go offline during the February winter storm under a program that pays large industrial power users to shut down when electricity supplies are short.

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Corridor News (Commentary): Analysis: Electricity isn’t on the special session agenda — and that’s a good thing

July 18 — If this past session showed us anything, it’s that real grid reform faces an uphill battle. Thanks to well-funded lobbyists and attractive (but false) messaging about the value of “green” energy, most of the blackout conversations in the Capitol revolved around the failures of thermal generators and the natural gas supply system, not around the more fundamental market problems. But just like tossing more money at schools doesn’t necessarily help children learn better, simply throwing money at weatherization and backup generation won’t give us more reliable power. To do that, we must enact substantive market reforms.

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Brownsville Herald: Valley is a priority — Underserved’ area part of ERCOT plan

July 20 — The Rio Grande Valley figures largely in a plan developed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to make the state’s grid more reliable after it nearly collapsed during February’s extreme winter weather event.

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Greenville Herald-Banner: Gas failures drove winter storm power outages

July 20 — The report flies in the face of Gov. Greg Abbott’s insistence that the power shortages were the fault of renewable energy. The Texas Legislature approved Senate Bill 3, which was signed into law by Abbott and aimed to prioritize power plant shutdowns and penalize energy providers for failing to meet demand and creating an alert system to let Texans know of imminent outages.

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Texas Observer: After Kelcy Warren’s Energy Transfer Partners Made Billions from the Deadly Texas Blackouts, He Gave $1 Million to Greg Abbott

July 20 — The natural gas industry raked in billions during the winter grid failure and Governor Abbott let them off the hook. He was rewarded with a huge campaign contribution from the grid collapse’s biggest profiteer.


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