UPDATED 11:15 AM PT – Thursday, February 18, 2021
Texas officials gave an update on the ongoing power outages amid a historic winter storm. On Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) said all sources of his state’s power were compromised by the freezing temperatures.
“Every source of power in the state of Texas has been compromised, whether it be renewable power, such as wind or solar,” Abbott stated. “Access to coal-generated power [and] access to gas generated power also have been compromised, whether it be with regard to systems freezing up or equipment failures.”
This came as extreme weather swept through parts of the U.S., leaving more than two dozen people dead and millions without power. Abbott noted the Lone Star State is still uncertain where power will be restored and when.“Decisions about power outages are made by either city own utilities or co-op own utilities,” Abbott added. “And it would not be any state-based entity that makes those decisions except power outages by investor-owned utilities.”
Texas’ power grid, managed by the non-profit organization the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, was hit hard by the storms. The state’s power grid is largely isolated from other major grids, which makes it difficult to import more power when there are deficits.
This is a look inside one #Texas home. It’s hard to see this and not feel some sort of way. No one should have to endure these unsafe conditions. Please visit @SpectrumNews1TX for warming center, food, and other resources. #TexasBlackout #TexasFreeze #txwx pic.twitter.com/p7DGbKCNcW
— Dr. Nicole Cross (@DrNicoleCross) February 18, 2021
The ER-COT has been accused of failing to take proper precautions in the case of major freezing weather events. Abbott said he wants a state investigation to be launched into the organization’s safety precautions and he will be pushing for stricter regulations moving forward.
We are ordering an investigation into ERCOT and immediate transparency by ERCOT. pic.twitter.com/Mt2GPlaFuE
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 16, 2021
In the meantime, the cold spell in Texas is expected to stretch on into the weekend.
“Cold temperatures will remain across much of the state for the next few days,” Abbott stated. “Along I-10 and north will remain freezing through Thursday night with ultracold temperatures once again on Thursday night. We should, across the state, start getting above freezing on Saturday.”