In the region of the Great Plains, high winds and extremely low temperatures combined to cause coal and oil power plants to falter and start rolling blackouts across areas of Texas. 50 power plants, which produce a total of 7000 megawatts of electricity, were down, along with other fossil-fired plants being offline for maintenance and other issues, which meant the unavailability of 12,000 megawatts. This showed huge problems with fossil fuel plants, and the possible severity if these plants are down again. Thankfully, for those living in this region, the wind turbine power plants were still running, producing their usual output of between 3,500 and 4,000 megawatts.
Currently, there are around 7,000 wind turbines in the Texas area, helping to provide 7% of the power grid’s output. The other power sources include fossil fuel powered plants and nuclear power plants. During this outage, no nuclear plants were reported to have problems. There were, however, some scattered reports of wind turbines having problems, but these were few and far between. Some gas plants also reported problems with pipe freezing and breaking.
The rolling blackouts caused millions of houses to go without power, but for 3 million people, the wind turbines keep their lights on while parts of the region were in darkness. The technology and equipment used in wind turbine plants are often of a better and higher quality than those in the old-fashioned fossil fuel plants. It was lucky they were still online, as there were high winds, which the turbines took advantage of at the time.
During the storms, it is reported that wind power helped to keep the electricity grid flowing in 13 states across the Midwest, lessening the possible damage done to homes and businesses due to the lack of power. The wind power sector was thanked for it’s help and ability to stay online as other plants faltered and went offline.
During Wednesday through to Thursday, wind power was producing 5,350 megawatts of power, raising that number to 6,175 megawatts, producing first 7% of the power, which moved up to 8.25% on Friday, outperforming expectations.
You must be logged in to post a comment.