Sunday, 07 March, 2021


Major winter storm keeps trucking across the South

Texas snow Power cut across Texas during nasty winter storm
Bennie Garza | 16 February, 2021, 06:57

A frigid blast of winter weather across the US plunged Texas into an unusually icy emergency Monday that knocked out power to more than 2 million people, closed dangerously snowy and slick highways and put the delivery of new COVID-19 vaccine shipments on hold.

The energy crisis that crippled Texas's power system and sent energy prices soaring to record levels is deepening with at least four million people across the central USA taking turns being plunged into darkness to avoid a total collapse of their grids. "And so that is really the result that we're seeing", Woodfin said.

The cold blast is just the latest in a chain of extreme weather events that have brought down power grids and upended energy markets globally from Japan to Pakistan and France in recent months.

Wind generation ranks as the second-largest source of electricity in Texas, accounting for 23% of state power supplies past year behind natural gas, which served 45%, ERCOT estimates.

The state of Texas continued to reel under a deep freeze, leaving utilities scrambling to meet record power demand and forcing the state's grid operator to enforce rotating blackouts early on Monday. The outages began as controlled, rolling power cuts but have cascaded into prolonged blackouts in some areas.

Responding to a request from Governor Greg Abbott, President Joe Biden granted a federal emergency declaration for all 254 counties in the state on Sunday, authorising USA agencies to coordinate disaster relief from severe weather in Texas.

While temperatures are forecast to rise, the weather across the central US will remain extremely cold this week. She said she hadn't seen a serious snowfall in Dallas since her childhood. Oil production in the Permian Basin has dropped by 1 million barrels a day, helping USA crude prices to trade above $60 a barrel for the first time in more than year. "As each storm rolls in, more ice builds up on trees and power lines, that causes more and more trees and power lines to fall...as we fix one area, another area is impacted, and more repairs have to happen". Utilities there haven't had to carry out rolling blackouts since 2011.

For the first time all 254 counties are under a winter storm warning, while 1,600 flights have been cancelled.

"The southern plains are in a cold pattern", said David Roth, a senior branch forecaster at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center.

The spot price of electricity on the Texas power grid spiked more than 10,000 per cent on Monday, according to data on the grid operator's website.

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