Texas Freeze

February 24, 2022

A Tale of Two February Freezes – Can Last Year’s Grid Failure and This Month’s Storm be Compared?

By Scott Hinson, chief technology officer, Pecan Street – The recent freeze gave us an opportunity to compare electricity use in our research network before and during the event to how people used power during last year’s crisis. Did they learn any tips or tricks? Did they panic heat their homes to prepare for power outages? Did they charge their cars any differently? Here's what we saw.

February 9, 2022

A Year After Winter Storm Uri, a Look at Smart Solutions to Strengthen the Grid

By Cavan Merski, data analyst, Pecan Street Inc. – Microgrids get name-dropped a lot. And for good reason. The promise of a smarter, more resilient, and cleaner grid is enough to make any energy geek swoon. But given all the buzz, there’s a short supply of guidance on how we can deploy microgrid technology at scale. Pecan Street’s new analysis puts our energy data expertise to work to answer part of the microgrid riddle – how can big data enable widespread microgrid deployment?

October 5, 2021

EVs and the Texas Grid (KXAN)

Pecan Street's Colin Rowan spoke with Eric Henrikson (KXAN-Austin) about whether the Texas grid can handle an influx of electric vehicles (yes!) and how these "rolling batteries" could (and should) be a solution for Texas leaders trying to increase the grid's resilience.

February 26, 2021

How Did Texas Solar Perform in a Snowstorm?

By Scott Hinson, chief technology officer, Pecan Street – Last year, we looked at how Austin’s stay-at-home orders affected energy use. This week, we dove into the winter storm data to see how solar panels performed and how they may have eased overall demand on the grid.

February 24, 2021

Pecan Street on CNN: Texas goes it alone on electric power.

Pecan Street OpEd on CNN.com – 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.

August 28, 2020

Utility programs have helped customers weather COVID. Will they continue?

By Clayton Johnson, Communications Coordinator - To show the impact of the relief package, we compared utility bills at the reduced rates to the standard, pre-COVID rate. Energy use in 2020 increased by 14% in April, 10% in May, 2% in June, and 4% in July compared to monthly averages from 2017-2019.

July 22, 2020

Your Data in Action

Over the past several weeks, our work has been focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and the momentum behind the racial justice and equity movement. As always, our home energy database has been central to the work we've accomplished.

October 3, 2019

Utility Dive: ERCOT weathers steamy August, but could Texas become a winter-peaking system?

Shifting from gas to electricity for winter heating "would result in increased winter electricity demand peaks," the report found. "When combined with the reduction in summer peak demand, the increase in winter peak demand would flip Texas from a 'summer peaking' to a 'winter peaking' system."

October 3, 2019

E&E News: Blackouts are on the rise. So Austin is making a ‘microgrid’

Scott Hinson is the chief technology officer for Pecan Street Inc., a nonprofit research organization that focuses on ways to spread solar power to reduce the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation. Pecan Street is located in the Mueller neighborhood and has organized some volunteer homeowners to participate in the blackout experiment. It might expose them to infrequent losses of power.

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