Advanced Power Alliance Vice President Mark Yates joined other Oklahoma energy experts to discuss recent winter storms that affected energy supplies across the United States and plunged portions of Texas into blackouts due to frozen natural gas supplies and faltering power supplies.
In the wake of the blackouts, it is becoming apparent that a vicious cycle doomed the Texas electric system to suffer “rolling blackouts” which, for most consumers, did not roll but instead lasted for up to several days.
While every generator of electricity suffered from icing equipment and frigid temperatures, thermal generation in the state was particularly hard hit. Fuel shortages limited the availability of power which necessitated power cutoffs of power to areas of the state. Some of these inappropriately included critical natural gas production, processing, and distribution systems. This exacerbated the crisis by further limiting fuel supplies and reducing power production.
Speaking at the JR/Now webinar hosted by The Journal Record, Yates said, “For the first time the general public is beginning to realize through this storm the interdependency of our energy system. This event has really elevated the grid, which is a very complicated system. This storm showed how fragile the system can be. And frankly the further south you get in the region we’re not as prepared for long stints of this extreme type of weather. It put a strain on all forms of generation of fuel supply. It really showed across the energy system just how fragile it can be in these extreme temperatures.”
Oklahoma faced 270 hours of below freezing temperatures, straining states designed to weather the region’s brutal summer heat. Yates praised Oklahoma’s energy diversity, and superb management of the regional grid by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). Hs also noted that Oklahoma’s complementary use of natural gas, renewables, and other sources was paying off in affordability and reliability, “That all-of-the-above approach is the right one.”
Read more about the JR/Now Event on The Journal Record website: https://journalrecord.com/2021/02/26/avoiding-the-next-energy-crisis/