(Noted News) — In the dead of winter, millions of Texans are now without power in the Lone Star State as winter storms have shut down multiple powerplants, forcing many people to get creative to survive.
CBS DFW interviewed a man in the town of Nevada who has been living in his car to keep warm, storing frozen foods in the snow outside. 44-year-old Clint Cash told CBS that on Sunday evening, his entire house went black, and stayed like that.
“I think it may have come back up around seven-thirtyish and then I went back down. I tried to stay in my bed but it’s hard to eat a lot of stuff because I had microwave dinners I had purchased in case I get stuck and I can’t use the microwave.”
Cash told reporters that the streets in his rural town had become dangerous so he prefers to stay close to home, with no plans to drive anywhere.
“It was awfully cold and of course getting colder, but honestly I slept in all my clothes, pretty much what I’m wearing right now I slept in. I am taking it minute by minute day by day. I don’t plan on driving.”
Critics of the new “green” energy infrastructure in Texas are blaming the power outage on the inability of wind turbines to operate in cold temperatures. Wind-generated power has been the fastest-growing energy sector in Texas for over half a decade.
In 2015, wind turbines generated over 11% of Texas’ energy grid. In 2020, it was 23%, surpassing coal as the state’s second-biggest source of energy after natural gas. In Austin, wind turbines power 19% of the city’s energy. The parts of the state dependent on these turbines are the ones affected by the power outage.
Oncor Electric Delivery, the state’s biggest transmission and electric distribution plant tweeted:
“Due to ongoing record-low temps and generation, @ERCOT_ISO has continued to direct Oncor & utilities across TX to drop power load through maintained controlled outages. These controlled outages are occurring across the state and our entire service territory… At this time, @ERCOT_ISO is unable to predict when grid conditions will stabilize. All customers are urged to be prepared for cont’ extended outages. Please also prioritize safety. Warming stations are available in many areas- check online or call 211 for more.”
Governor Greg Abbot has insisted that Texas’ power grid “has not been compromised,” but admits that the ability for some power companies to distribute power has.
Bill Magness, President and CEO of ERCOT, said the firm was experiencing “record-breaking electric demand” stemming from the extreme cold temperatures. “At the same time, we are dealing with higher-than-normal generation outages due to frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies available to generating units,” he said.
Entergy Texas, who provides power to nearly half a million customers in 27 different counties in Texas stated on its website that rolling outages began on Monday, and apologized for the inconvenience.
“We apologize for the inconvenience these outages may cause, but we have an unusual situation right now driven by extreme weather conditions. We are working to respond and restore power as soon as it is safely possible,” said Stuart Barrett, vice president of customer service.
“While our crews worked to prepare for this storm, a loss of generation combined with the peak load has caused a strain on the system. As a result, we are short of the power needed to meet our customers’ demands across southeast Texas.”
As temperatures hover close to zero, President Joe Biden has since declared a state of emergency in the Lone Star State.