3 graphs that shed light on the ERCOT power crisis


As work continued to restore electric power across the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region, data firm Lium released a series of graphs that offer early insight into the state grid’s performance in the days before the blackouts and immediately after.

The Austin, Texas-based firm said that during the power crisis:

  • All power sources disappointed to some degree,
  • Wind generation was especially poor, and
  • The natural gas ramp was “impressive,” despite shortfalls and a “big crash” in the early hours of Monday, Feb. 15.

In reporting on the timing of events, the firm said that natural gas power generation suddenly dropped early Monday morning by 10 GW after having tripled capacity to more than 35 GW during the previous seven days.

Coal-fired generation also deteriorated through Monday morning, and nuclear suddenly lost around 1 GW of generation around 7 a.m. Central time.

The firm characterized wind generation as having been “slow” over the Valentine’s Day weekend. Wind production continued to “get worse” through Monday and Tuesday, ending up down around 8 GW compared with the prior week.

It said that in a hypothetical scenario, the ERCOT shortfall could have been met had natural gas, coal, and nuclear all been operating at summer peak levels (+9 GW) and if wind were operating at its typical February rate (+8 GW).

Here are the three graphs as released by Lium:



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