February 24, 2021
By Suzanne Russo, CEO Pecan Street
(Note: CNN.com published an OpEd by Pecan Street CEO Suzanne Russo about the winter storm and how to avoid future weather-energy crises. An excerpt is below, followed by a link to the entire piece.)
(CNN) Texans don’t like outsiders telling us what to do. So alone among the lower 48 states, we have our own independent electric grid, covering about 75% of the state, managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), a non-profit corporation that is regulated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. The rest of the contiguous United States’ power grids are part of either the Western Interconnect grid or the Eastern Interconnect, putting them under control of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Texas’ grid independence is being called into question after ERCOT failed to meet unprecedented electricity demand and millions of Texans went without power for days in sub-freezing temperatures. To put it mildly, people are mad. But despite a lot of political finger-pointing, I’ve seen few people pointing in the right direction.