ABILENE TX (KTAB/KRBC) – Anna Reyes-Clute is an Abilene resident who was without power for four days during the most severe cold snap in Abilene history. This difficult ordeal has left her wondering how reliable the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) actually is.
“The current state of Texas, they need to straighten out the grid. What I am hearing and reading is that it wasn’t winterized,” said Reyes-Clute.
Though the Texas grid, which is the only separate power grid in the United States, was winterized after a 2011 ice storm, it was never prepared to handle a storm of this magnitude.
“We had plans in place to cover normal extreme weather conditions. This one’s a little beyond our normal extreme weather,” said ERCOT System Operations Manager Dan Woodfin.
When winterization failed, ERCOT was left with one option: rolling blackouts, which were meant to spread the available energy around ensuring that no one would go without for too long.
But with 6 deaths due to freezing in Taylor County, some Texans are left wondering if our privatized system is the best way to go.
“Privatize it? Who got the money? Yeah, they lowered our prices on the electric, but who got the money?” Reyes-Clute says. “I am mad. I am mad because ERCOT could have done better, and instead they’re giving us excuses. Just excuses.”
While power and some water are returning to the city, Abilene officials ask that citizens limit the amount of water used until the system can get back to full capacity.