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Final Report On Texas Power Grid Failure During Winter Storm Released

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBSDFW.COM) - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has released its final report on the Texas power grid failure during the February 2021 winter storm.

Published with the assistance of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and NERC's regional affiliates on November 16, the report reiterates preliminary findings released earlier this fall that underscored the need for better winterization measures for mechanical and electrical components.

According to the report, "protecting just four types of power plant components from icing and freezing could have reduced outages by 67 percent in the ERCOT region."

The report also partially rebuffed claims that wind and solar energy plants were primarily to blame for the outages, stating that 58% of power generation failures were due to issues with natural gas fired units.

Natural gas fired units were also responsible for nearly all unplanned generation outages. The report states that 87% of unplanned outages were due to natural gas production and processing issues, while the remaining 13% was due to issues with other fuel sources such as oil and coal.

Unexpected freezes were by far the more prevalent cause of outages; 81% of freezing-related outages occurred at temperatures above the units' stated ambient design temperature.

The report includes 28 formal recommendations that seek to prevent a recurrence of the failures experienced during the February 2021 winter storm, including important revisions to the NERC Reliability Standards surrounding generator winterization and gas-electric coordination.

Additional recommendations are included regarding topics such as cold weather impacts on mechanical and electrical components, utilization of weather forecasts to better predict electric demand, and increasing the ability to rotate rolling blackouts.

The report also encourages additional study of the ERCOT system's reliability issues, guidance on identification of natural gas infrastructure for protection from rolling blackouts, and additional ways to address natural gas fuel supply shortfalls during extreme cold weather events.

The full report is available online.

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