Texas Border Business
Electricity outages in Texas could happen again this summer when electricity demand typically peaks as homes and businesses crank up the air conditioning to ride out the heat.
Texas is also likely to see a hotter and drier summer than average this year. Already on Tuesday, a relatively mild spring day, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas asked Texans to conserve electricity because the supply could barely keep up with demand. A significant chunk of the grid’s power plants was offline due to maintenance this week, some resulting from damage during February’s winter storm.
This week’s warning outraged residents and political leaders who questioned why ERCOT allowed the electric grid to come so close to emergency conditions.Meanwhile, an $8.3 billion idea by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy to build 10 new natural gas power plants across the state for emergency use gained more attention Thursday.
The proposal was introduced during a state Senate panel as formal legislation. Berkshire executives, who pitched the plan to lawmakers in the weeks following February’s deadly winter storm, said revenue for the massive project would come through an additional monthly charge on Texans’ power bills.
Republican state Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, put forward the legislation, saying it would create “a backstop” of “emergency supply” that would only be tapped when demand on the power grid is so great that the state may be forced into electricity blackouts.