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New simulations show that while progress has been made on the Texas power grid, the risk of outages is still there.

According to a report from KVUE, ERCOT's latest simulations show that the Texas power grid could have blackouts every few years if Texas were to see a major winter storm. A major winter storm would be like one that Texas saw in February of 2021 or similar to that of December 2022 according to KVUE.

The report from KVUE states that ERCOT and the PUC are continuing to work to define the reliability standard. The good news is that winterization efforts made since 2021 are helping, but it seems as though more needs to be done for the grid.

“Overall, it seems our weatherization standards are making a significant impact or at least an impact,” McAdams said in the Nov. 30 meeting.

McAdams questioned Woody Rickerson, ERCOT's senior vice president and chief operating officer, about their results.

“One number that jumps out to me, sir, on the 2023 with weatherization results. You think we have a .31 loss of load expectation for 23. And question: am I understanding it correctly or do you think we’re on a path— is that the path you think we’re on? And does that imply we’re going to have outages once every three years?” McAdams asked Rickerson in the meeting.

Load loss, according to the Department of Energy’s U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), is a continuous outage of three hours or longer.

“Under simulated 2023 with weatherization results for frequency, if you compare that to the 48 scenario results, that'll be a frequency of three (years),” Rickerson said.

KVUE reported that new, updated simulations will be released at some point. ERCOT does believe that if an outage occurs, it's "fairly unlikely" that it would be a "high duration event".

Read more here.

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