Texas Rolling Blackouts Event Draws Federal Probes

Last February, citizens in Texas endured a couple of very unusual events, both very closely tied to one another. Temperatures plummeted almost suddenly across the Lone Star State, creating a rare freeze and sifting a generous deluge of snow atop its vast expanse. Currently presumed to have resulted from the drastic shift into weather more befitting the northern states, rolling blackouts ensued across Texas shortly thereafter.While the rolling blackouts lasted only a day or two, the investigation is ongoing.

Both the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) are collaboratively researching possible causes for the blackouts.  The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates and regulates our power grid here in Texas, is fielding the queries from the fed, although little information has come from the investigation beyond the initial statement that the blackouts were unavoidable and that 11,000 megawatts worth of power generation was knocked offline due to the unexpected freeze.

 

Both federal and state-level regulators and officials are concerned most with the possibility of market manipulation playing a role in the outages.  While the FERC seeks to nail down the certain cause of the Texas electricity shortage and establish measures to avoid it in the future, none of the agencies involved have uncovered any evidence so far relating to inappropriate activity or manipulation. Stay Tuned.


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