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It's Freezing in Texas, please shut the freezer door up north......


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41 minutes ago, Mile High said:

Sometimes it takes exposing weaknesses to fix things. Hopefully we can start fixing  weaknesses in our infrastructure.  Also a reminder dispite all of our technology Mother Nature can ##### slap mankind with just a flick of the wrist. 

article this morning on the various contributing causes for the lack of power in TX

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Sorry, well behind on this thread and not going to try and get caught up. Went to a hotel Monday that had power after we were basically 40 minutes off, 5 minutes on, repeating. Was awesome. Warm, grea

Seems like kind of a #### thing to say when its 10 degrees and there are millions of people without electricity.

I’VE GOT THE POWER! Very glad to be back. 

54 minutes ago, Mile High said:

Sometimes it takes exposing weaknesses to fix things. Hopefully we can start fixing  weaknesses in our infrastructure.  Also a reminder dispite all of our technology Mother Nature can ##### slap mankind with just a flick of the wrist. 

That costs money though and how much do we want our electricity costs to go up for these once ever 20-40 year type events.

 

I speak as someone who is going on 20 hours without power.

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The grid needs an overhaul.  We need incentives for people to provide solar and off grid storage like California. 

It's horribly inefficient to send natural gas into homes for any reason whatsoever, this needs to stop and use this for overnight and de-winded generation only.  A 20 year phase out of gas to homes needed to start 20 years ago.  

Providing incentives to homeowners to install solar has issues yes, it's not a panacea, clearly.  But it does work to deal with this problem and is showing success in California. 

The second solution is nuclear.  

Base power of nuclear, backup with natural gas, and solar and wind providing the remainder at point of source or in farms.  Grid storage incentives where it makes sense.

 

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16 minutes ago, culdeus said:

The grid needs an overhaul.  We need incentives for people to provide solar and off grid storage like California. 

It's horribly inefficient to send natural gas into homes for any reason whatsoever, this needs to stop and use this for overnight and de-winded generation only.  A 20 year phase out of gas to homes needed to start 20 years ago.  

Providing incentives to homeowners to install solar has issues yes, it's not a panacea, clearly.  But it does work to deal with this problem and is showing success in California. 

The second solution is nuclear.  

Base power of nuclear, backup with natural gas, and solar and wind providing the remainder at point of source or in farms.  Grid storage incentives where it makes sense.

 

I mean, I generally agree with the sentiment. But having spent significant time in power generation and distribution, it's extremely difficult to go without gas generated electricity. It's pretty much the only flexible on demand method of generation we have.

 

Just think about this environment right now: I have solar on my roof. Enough that my total elec bill the last few months has been ~$20/month. But also it's a winter storm, there's snow covering them, and ice under that and the sun isn't even out as much as you'd think and so on and so forth. 

 

Grid storage is obviously the holy grail here. Again, harder than you'd think and a LOT of resources are trying to solve it right now.

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27 minutes ago, culdeus said:

It's horribly inefficient to send natural gas into homes for any reason whatsoever, this needs to stop and use this for overnight and de-winded generation only.  A 20 year phase out of gas to homes needed to start 20 years ago. 

so you're suggesting that people should no longer have natural gas heated homes?

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23 hours ago, Boulder Toads said:

it's been 12+hrs now with no power ... wife is a trooper and we've been crushing the hot tea today ... pretty dang cold inside, getting some sunshine now but another night in the teens is looming

36+hrs with no power ... we moved in with some friends (and now 3 other families!) 5min down the street who (might live near a city councilperson - ha!) have had uninterrupted power, so doing pretty good.  just checked on the house and indoors it is 40-45deg depending on where you are!  opened up the blinds to let in some sun today, still have water, thankfully no burst pipes like many are starting to report this morning.  we are finally back to 32degF outside!

Edited by Boulder Toads
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3 hours ago, MTskibum said:

That costs money though and how much do we want our electricity costs to go up for these once ever 20-40 year type events.

 

I speak as someone who is going on 20 hours without power.

With climate change has come more extreme weather events, so I expect this level of impact to happen with greater frequency going forward.

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2 hours ago, Boulder Toads said:

36+hrs with no power ... we moved in with some friends (and now 3 other families!) 5min down the street who (might live near a city councilperson - ha!) have had uninterrupted power, so doing pretty good.  just checked on the house and indoors it is 40-45deg depending on where you are!  opened up the blinds to let in some sun today, still have water, thankfully no burst pipes like many are starting to report this morning.  we are finally back to 32degF outside!

37 hours and the gracious power lords have decided our plight is now worth the spot-price premium to purchase energy, distribute and grant us respite

in the future these distributors will figure out a way to strike the right balance of: 1) passing along the spot-price-spike premiums to consumers, and thereby 2) shortening the length of disruption

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We went 30 hours without power with temps inside the house dropping to about 45 degrees overnight. Got power back this afternoon thankfully. Last night was terrible. I really feel for those who are still dealing with this. Please be safe. 

I guess our foundation was starting to freeze because the tile in our kitchen and breakfast nook started separating from the cement pour underneath. It was making a horrible cracking noise and now crunches when you walk on it. So I guess new floors are in our future. We’re better off than our neighbors though. They had a pipe burst in their attic so I spent a couple hours this afternoon hauling off waterlogged sheetrock and carpet from their second floor. Thankfully, I think we saved it from going through to the ground floor. Unfortunately, burst pipes are going to be a common problem across the state. I’m back at home and just holding my breath. 

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After no power outages at all in the hotel, we went home to check the house and found out our five minutes of power per hour had ceased and all our food was thawing out. Quickly grabbed it all up and headed back to the hotel... and it was dark. Power had gone out. Ended up being out for five hours. Basically everything we had in our freezers and fridges will be in the trash. And that is very ungood as there are hours long waits to get in grocery stores with empty shelves. I am just truly amazed at what a nightmare the last 10 or so months have been.

I had a bit of hope things were looking up with a forecast high of 44 tomorrow. But now they are forecasting more snow Thursday night with a high of 36. That's on top of the freezing rain tonight that resulted in my round two COVID vaccine set for tomorrow being delayed yet again.

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6 hours ago, Binky The Doormat said:

so you're suggesting that people should no longer have natural gas heated homes?

We will spend the next 100 years regretting how we wasted natural gas heating homes 

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1 hour ago, DallasDMac said:

After no power outages at all in the hotel, we went home to check the house and found out our five minutes of power per hour had ceased and all our food was thawing out. Quickly grabbed it all up and headed back to the hotel... and it was dark. Power had gone out. Ended up being out for five hours. Basically everything we had in our freezers and fridges will be in the trash. And that is very ungood as there are hours long waits to get in grocery stores with empty shelves. I am just truly amazed at what a nightmare the last 10 or so months have been.

I had a bit of hope things were looking up with a forecast high of 44 tomorrow. But now they are forecasting more snow Thursday night with a high of 36. That's on top of the freezing rain tonight that resulted in my round two COVID vaccine set for tomorrow being delayed yet again.

That really sucks. Not that it helps, but we took the food from our fridge and put it in a big cooler in our garage, which was at near freezing temps. 

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51 minutes ago, culdeus said:

We will spend the next 100 years regretting how we wasted natural gas heating homes 

What about all the natural gas the oil industry burns on well sites to avoid dealing with? That practice churns my stomach.

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Man, I'm just getting back online, we've been out of power in Round Rock for over 36 hours now. We just recently made it to a friend's house to get a hot shower and some heat. Our water and pipes were still good when we left, but I'm worried. I've been impressed with how our house has done, we were still holding at 50 degrees when we left. On top of power loss cell service has been so bad I wasn't able to get online and get news or anything. Now that I am still zero update on when we may get power back.

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6 minutes ago, Apple Jack said:

One thing that helps avoid pipes bursting is keeping the water moving. Leaving a faucet at the end of the line at least trickling will help.

Yep, I'm from up north so I'm used to freezing temps, so we have a few faucets dripping and all the sink cabinets open. Going to head back to the house tomorrow am so I can get the gas fire going again and get some heat.

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2 minutes ago, The Tick said:

Yep, I'm from up north so I'm used to freezing temps, so we have a few faucets dripping and all the sink cabinets open. Going to head back to the house tomorrow am so I can get the gas fire going again and get some heat.

The pipe that burst at my neighbors house was the pipe feeding into the hot water heater. They had their faucets dripping, but only cold water, so nothing was drawing from the hot water heater and the feeder pipe sat there and ultimately froze. So we have both a hot water faucet and a cold water faucet dripping. 

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1 minute ago, bigbottom said:

The pipe that burst at my neighbors house was the pipe feeding into the hot water heater. They had their faucets dripping, but only cold water, so nothing was drawing from the hot water heater and the feeder pipe sat there and ultimately froze. So we have both a hot water faucet and a cold water faucet dripping. 

Thought of that one too. In the master bath dripped one sink hot and the other sink cold.

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Here is my assessment:

(All times are estimates)

Saturday Night (into Sunday):

Just after 00:00 midnight, ERCOT moves to Level I crisis mode, and says “no outages” at this time. 

Around 01:05 ERCOT moves to Level II, be alert

Around 01:30 ERCOT moves to Level III, shutting down power

There was never any advanced notice from ERCOT that loss of power was to be anticipated by the general public. And people were not prepared for this. Had people known, they certainly could have been more prepared.

ERCOT had to know. How do you move from “all systems normal” to “maximum crisis” mode in less than two hours. And then they make these moves after midnight when everyone is asleep. Totally unacceptable.

Will be interesting to watch this play out. 

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20 minutes ago, The Tick said:

Had you lost power would your solar panels have helped in this, or can you not disconnect from the grid?

not in Texas.  can’t run off them when the grid goes down.

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I think the only thing worse than not having a generator when power goes out in situations like these would be to be my buddy who doesn’t have a generator but has to listen to the loud one in his neighbor’s backyard facing his house all day and all night.

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4 hours ago, bigbottom said:

We went 30 hours without power with temps inside the house dropping to about 45 degrees overnight. Got power back this afternoon thankfully. Last night was terrible. I really feel for those who are still dealing with this. Please be safe. 

I guess our foundation was starting to freeze because the tile in our kitchen and breakfast nook started separating from the cement pour underneath. It was making a horrible cracking noise and now crunches when you walk on it. So I guess new floors are in our future. We’re better off than our neighbors though. They had a pipe burst in their attic so I spent a couple hours this afternoon hauling off waterlogged sheetrock and carpet from their second floor. Thankfully, I think we saved it from going through to the ground floor. Unfortunately, burst pipes are going to be a common problem across the state. I’m back at home and just holding my breath. 

Thermostat to 11.

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35 minutes ago, Tom Skerritt said:

Will be interesting to watch this play out. 

Saw that Abbott is calling for investigation and many calls for the top dogs at ERCOT to resign or be fired. I think heads are going to roll, and deservedly so. This was a major failure.

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27 minutes ago, Tom Skerritt said:

Here is my assessment:

(All times are estimates)

Saturday Night (into Sunday):

Just after 00:00 midnight, ERCOT moves to Level I crisis mode, and says “no outages” at this time. 

Around 01:05 ERCOT moves to Level II, be alert

Around 01:30 ERCOT moves to Level III, shutting down power

There was never any advanced notice from ERCOT that loss of power was to be anticipated by the general public. And people were not prepared for this. Had people known, they certainly could have been more prepared.

ERCOT had to know. How do you move from “all systems normal” to “maximum crisis” mode in less than two hours. And then they make these moves after midnight when everyone is asleep. Totally unacceptable.

Will be interesting to watch this play out. 

We received a text from our daughter on Sun at 4:15 pm that "ERCOT just advised Austin Energy to start rolling brownouts within one hour". I couldn't find any confirmation of it and thought it was a rumor that was going viral. They knew well in advance they were going to start the brownouts. I stayed up most of the night and as you said, they quickly went to Stage 1,2,3 quickly. I signed up for the text alerts of outages from Austin Energy, thinking we might get an advance notice. All I have received are texts from police and sheriff saying don't call 911 on power outages unless it's serious health situation or they acknowledged they were aware of "the" power outage.

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Power went down 10 minutes ago. Gonna be a long night.

Supposed to snow/ice throughout the night. Power came back on around 2pm this afternoon, after being off for the previous 24hrs. Was able to get my house from 45-50 degrees back up to 70.

Shut my water off last night. Have a propane camping stove and 3 propane cartridges. Also have two fully-charged battery packs for phones and tablets.

Sent my daughter to a friends house earlier today, a friend who has had constant power throughout this mess.

Wife and I are hunkered down with two dogs and a guinea pig. Candles are lit. Fire is burning in the fireplace. Hope I have enough wood to get through the night.

Gonna be a long night. 

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1 minute ago, DallasDMac said:

Saw that Abbott is calling for investigation and many calls for the top dogs at ERCOT to resign or be fired. I think heads are going to roll, and deservedly so. This was a major failure.

Some of them were just appointed a couple months ago due to some retirements.

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13 minutes ago, Phil Elliott said:

Some of them were just appointed a couple months ago due to some retirements.

As I said a couple of days ago, you can bet your ### the executive pay structure throughout the Texas energy system was in no danger of crashing. Many people are responsible for this catastrophic failure. 

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15 minutes ago, DallasDMac said:

Saw that Abbott is calling for investigation and many calls for the top dogs at ERCOT to resign or be fired. I think heads are going to roll, and deservedly so. This was a major failure.

Part of this has to do with the deregulation of the Texas electricity market back in 2002.  Rick Perry was the Gov.  It removed a lot of the incentive to upgrade energy producing plants.  Doofi.

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9 minutes ago, Mrs. Rannous said:

Part of this has to do with the deregulation of the Texas electricity market back in 2002.  Rick Perry was the Gov.  It removed a lot of the incentive to upgrade energy producing plants.  Doofi.

There is zero incentive for these people to improve infrastructure. That would cut into profits. 

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ERCOT needs an ICAP market like PJM, NYISO and ISO New England.  This is not a new issue but it cost rate payers money to pay for such services but it generally works.  That is basically the inherent flaw in the TX system.  

Edited by Redwes25
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56 minutes ago, Mrs. Rannous said:

Part of this has to do with the deregulation of the Texas electricity market back in 2002.  Rick Perry was the Gov.  It removed a lot of the incentive to upgrade energy producing plants.  Doofi.

It's set up strange as Austin Energy is one utility you cannot opt out to go with another utility. And then you have ERCOT on top of the whole grid.

Edited by Phil Elliott
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55 minutes ago, culdeus said:

That's misleading.  

It’s what they told me when they installed it.  is it incorrect?  I’ve never been able to when the power is out.  I suppose I could rewire it if power was down long enough,

edit: unless it’s a PEC thing and not a state thing.

Edited by joffer
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7 hours ago, bigbottom said:

We went 30 hours without power with temps inside the house dropping to about 45 degrees overnight. Got power back this afternoon thankfully. Last night was terrible. I really feel for those who are still dealing with this. Please be safe. 

I guess our foundation was starting to freeze because the tile in our kitchen and breakfast nook started separating from the cement pour underneath. It was making a horrible cracking noise and now crunches when you walk on it. 

 

 Reading your post makes me feel better. Our tile made loud cracking noises twice tonight and now it makes a crunching noise. I Thout it was foundation, but if it is just tile separating from concrete I will be ecstatic.

 

Edit: still no power though.

Edited by MTskibum
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8 hours ago, joffer said:

It’s what they told me when they installed it.  is it incorrect?  I’ve never been able to when the power is out.  I suppose I could rewire it if power was down long enough,

edit: unless it’s a PEC thing and not a state thing.

I miss having the panels on our previous house. But when we were having them installed, there was an option to have a electrical receptacle near the house electrical service point. It allowed you to plug into the solar power when there was a grid outage. We didn't do it as it would only work during the day and you would need to get the cord into the house thru a door or window. It was a nice idea but didn't seem practical.

Edited by Phil Elliott
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