June 16 — The oil and natural gas deposits in the Permian Basin are millennia older than the states of Texas and New Mexico, which today sit on top of them. The methane and other greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the tens of thousands of wells in Permian do not recognize political boundaries, floating wherever the prevailing winds take them.
June 18 — Amid soaring temps, Texas’ grid operator said unexpected shutdowns at power plants had stressed the system. Nearly 80% were “thermal” generators (mostly natural gas-fueled in Texas) and not renewable sources.
Fox4: Despite Public Information Act requests, ERCOT refuses to release records on February’s power grid failure
June 18 — Potentially vital information about the decisions made before, during, and after this winter’s power grid failure may never be known. ERCOT, the not-for-profit that manages Texas’ electrical grid, is not subject to Texas’ Public Information Act, and has already denied requests for information.
Community Impact Newspaper: Sugar Land City Council reviews recent Texas legislative session, talks ERCOT and pandemic
June 18 — The coronavirus pandemic, the energy grid and ‘bad bills’ dominated the conversation during the Intergovernmental Relations Department’s update on the 87th Texas legislative session to Sugar Land City Council during their June 15 meeting. Rick Ramirez, intergovernmental relations manager for the city, and Snapper Carr of Focused Advocacy, a lobbyist group in Austin, discussed key issues from the session, including COVID-19 response and recovery, reforms to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and “hot button issues,” such as abortion and permitless carry.
KPRC: Local residents say smart thermostats were controlled remotely in an attempt to conserve energy
June 18 — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ conservation alert urged Texans to conserve electricity this week and part of their recommendation was to raise the temperature on the thermostat. Karen Rogers said her daughter was trying to do her part but noticed the thermostat was being turned up without her consent.
June 18 — Back in February, more than 4 million people in the state lost power during an extreme winter storm. Government officials said in March that at least 111 people died, including an 11-year-old boy; many of those deaths were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning after people burned fuel inside to keep warm. And as Paul Chakalian wrote for Future Tense back in March, the possible health impacts of blackouts don’t just stop there, with water contamination and food storage being of particular concern. The combination of some of the coldest temperatures in decades and unexpected drops in energy supply in Texas led to rolling blackouts that lasted for days in some places.
June 18 — While the storm created record power demand as people cranked up heaters and furnaces during the single-digit temperatures, an early shot of Texas heat increased demand as folks blasted their air conditioners to cool down. It’s not exactly going to cool off as summer rolls on, and as the UT report points out, the residential sector in Texas consumes more electricity than the commercial sector does. Rather than place the bulk of the demand decrease responsibility on residential consumers, more commercial and industrial customers should take part in demand response programs, the report said.
June 15 — Experts say the energy reform bill signed by Governor Greg Abbott doesn’t go far enough to protect Texans from future blackouts.
June 15 — Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, a nonregulated commercial brand of Duke Energy, said it has started construction of the 250-megawatt Pisgah Ridge Solar project in Navarro County south of Dallas.
June 16 — ERCOT admitted the majority of lost reserve electricity generation on Monday was due to unscheduled maintenance issues. ERCOT said 9,691 megawatts of the total loss on Monday was due to a forced outage, meaning it was unplanned and unexpected.
FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM: As Texans are asked to conserve electricity, can power grid withstand summer heat?
June 15 — Ann Bluntzer, acting director of the TCU Energy Institute, said she feels more confident headed into the summer months than she was in February, when millions went several days without electricity, though she noted there is a small chance of outages if there’s extreme heat and extreme energy consumption.
June 15 — Governor Greg Abbott’s eyes were glued to the list of talking points before him during a press conference Tuesday. He had just signed into law two bills meant to ensure that the state’s grid would never again collapse, as it had in February when blackouts left millions of Texans without heat or power and killed an estimated seven hundred. Despite the criticism by many former industry experts and Democrats, Abbott said the legislation would “fix all the flaws” that led to the blackouts and that “everything that needed to be done was done to fix the power grid in Texas.”
June 14 — The summer travel season is likely to be a busy one, with more demand for jet fuel and gasoline leading to higher prices for consumers.
June 14 — A proposal to spend $8 billion on new power plants in Texas has stalled, Starwood Energy Group’s chief executive said on Monday, as the state’s grid operator called for conservation amid record demand.