PK Media: Wednesday morning more than 1.3 million electric power customers across Texas remain without power during the coldest winter storm in decades. Gov. Greg Abbott put all of Texas’ 254 counties under a disaster declaration as the state has been hammered with a series of major and historic winter storms. The reasons for the collapse of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid are still being debated, and it’s certain that there is more than one cause and more information will come out.
But one of the most contested issues is the role wind generation has played. Prior to the onset of the storm last week, Texas led the nation in wind power generation and depended on the wind turbines in West-Central and Western Texas, along with a smaller number of turbines along the Gulf Coast, for about 25% of its electricity. As wind power has increased, coal-powered generation plants have been taken offline around the state. Texas has abundant coal, oil, and natural gas, and also has nuclear plants near Dallas and near Houston.