It would be funnier without the knowledge of how many people really are without power in freakishly cold weather…
I heard about this yesterday evening from a friend on a private chat forum*:
We’re on rotating blackouts, about 2.5 hours at a time with no power. Texas lost 30,000 MW of generation, and is limping along with 45,000 MW when customers would take 70,000 MW if it were available.
Wow, I didn’t know. I get so wrapped up in my own little bubble here at the Gulch, but Texas has snow all the way down to the Gulf coast! Single-digit temps in places where they probably don’t bother much with home heating infrastructure. Not just overnight, either, it’s been going on for days – and then the whole frickin’ state loses half its grid power! Yike.
Ironically, one part of the no-doubt complex reason they’re on rolling blackouts is … wait for it … sustainable power!
This story is all over the place – I picked a lefty source just ’cause I’m an insensitive cis white male…
“We are experiencing record-breaking electric demand due to the extreme cold temperatures that have gripped Texas,” ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness said in a news release. “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.”
Okay, I don’t know why I’m surprised that CNN posts lousy articles; despite the headline that article barely mentions frozen turbines. Here’s one that’s more informative…
Wind farms across the state generate up to a combined 25,100 megawatts of energy. But unusually moist winter conditions in West Texas brought on by the weekend’s freezing rain and historically low temperatures have iced many of those wind turbines to a halt.
As of Sunday morning, those iced turbines comprise 12,000 megawatts of Texas’ installed wind generation capacity, although those West Texas turbines don’t typically spin to their full generation capacity this time of year.
My point is: Wind generators suck. Don’t depend on them.
No, no, that was Precaffeinated Joel talking. Don’t listen to him. My point is that shit happens no matter where you are. Hundreds of thousands of people in places like Houston and Austin are freezing in the dark, when they thought they had no reason to ever fear that happening. A set of freak circumstances comes along, nobody’s fault but there they are. In the end your security is your responsibility. So take responsibility for it. Believe me when I tell you that freezing in the dark turns the minutes to hours.
If people are laughing at you for your ridiculous prepping hobby, you’re at least facing in the right direction. It doesn’t take the end of the world as we know it to make a backup generator and a kerosene heater** and some extra food and a spare way to cook it suddenly pay for themselves. Plan to be the person who saves the day when it all goes wrong.
*kids, ask your parents.
**that you know how to use…