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Thread: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the US?

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    As we moved to the "competitive" utility model in the '90s, it was already obvious that the Texas model was the most corrupt and incompetent model in the US, and that was going some.

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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Wow, I never realized one could have such poor reading skills and still be an M.D. Ok, I will point out, again (and type slowly this time so you can comprehend), I am not asking about the problems in Texas, I am asking about the problems the feds have fixed in the rest of the nation's grids, and the one's they are currently working on. In other words, I want examples of what you were referring to when you stated:

    They have problems, which they address - and they only look 'better', in comparison.
    "They" being used to refer to the feds in the post your were respnding to.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    As we moved to the "competitive" utility model in the '90s, it was already obvious that the Texas model was the most corrupt and incompetent model in the US, and that was going some.
    Can you give me some examples of how the Texas system was more corrupt than others? I am not doubting you, but this is not one I have read. Enron was certainly corrupt, and based in Texas, but I thought most of the shenneigans had to do with the West Coast grid.

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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    You guys do realize that from the 30s to the seventies Texas was a single party state, and it wasn't the GOP?
    you do realize the seventies was a half century ago. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Honestly my memory is twenty to thirty years out of date.

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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    you do realize the seventies was a half century ago. . .
    Yes, and that is the time period when Texas decided to have its own grid. It started almost 90 years ago, and was really set in stone by the 50s, certainly by the 70s. Since then, any interconnect project that has a large capability becomes rather costly. All the grids work on a nominal 60 htz, but they have significant frequency flucuations and they are not in phase. So one has to convert the AC to DC on the side that will be suppplying power at any time, then convert it back to the AC of the side receiving the power. This is not cheap.

    So why do you guys seem to want to blame it on the republicans who have been in power in Texas since 1980?

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    because they've had forty years to fix it
    because texas republican politicians laugh and point at others
    because hypocrisy
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Honestly my memory is twenty to thirty years out of date.
    Fair enough. I don't doubt there has been a degree of corruption and incompetence involved. But over that time period, my electric prices have stayed relatively low. We have implemented as much renewable energy as almost anyone else. We have expanded our grid a lot so as to transport all of this wind and solar power from the west to the east and central parts of the state. We have, obviously taken a few too many short cuts in both the wind installations and the renewables.

    ERCOT made an idiot mistake of cutting power to the natural gas producers early on in the winter storm. This has been underreported, but is a large reason why the blackouts lasted for so long, the gas generators simply did not have fuel. Part of this was also the natural gas "grid" failed in many places. It was a rather unusual winter storm (please don't compare it to 2011, not even close).

    As to the current situation with the heat wave. Again, its a problem. But its a type of event that is not unique to Texas.

    I get it, you guys love to beat up on Texas, but I don't think the rest of the nation has their act exactly in order either. And some problems, eg the separate grid, originated a long time ago and are not easy to fix. It really doesn't do much good throwing daggers at current and recent Texas politicians for decisions they somehow made 70-90 years ago.

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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    I agree whole heartedly that Texas has problems. Which we will work to fix. I did not ask about that. You claimed the rest of the nation has fixed their problems, or some portion of them and are fixing the others. I would like to know some details about this. Why make the claim if you are not willing to provide details? I am not asking you to jump through hoops, just provide a little bit of backup for your previous claim.
    Peb, you are beating a lame horse.

    While one could do the research for a full and fair comparison (heck, you could do it yourself if you think it matters)... what you're doing is 'whataboutism'. "Yeah, we really gherkined the pooch, but what about Enron. Huh, huh???".

    If someone wanted to do such research in the spirit of discoverying 'best practices'... I'd be cheering. But you're just doing it to defend the status quo.

    The fact is, Texas' model is flawed. And you've had several instances now that provide illustration of exactly how is it is flawed. And your own people have produced reports detailing how to fix it. But the 'leaders' in Texas have willfully, stubbornly, cynically, and greedily refused to make those fixes. So it'll happen again. Not when the citizens will sit still for the pattern of 'privatize the profits, socialize the losses'.

    How many times will it happen before y'all wise up? As I find myself saying frequently to my Texas friends --- "You can always tell a Texan... you just can't tell 'em much."
    David G
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Sorry - I've been working ( work for a real a-hole - and no, he's not from texas. gosh).

    Nice exposition from others. I'm working on getting through Mr. G's - but it's real slow going. I don't believe he was typing slow....
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    You guys do realize that from the 30s to the seventies Texas was a single party state, and it wasn't the GOP?
    I'm not sure how you figure that's relevant at all.

    AND you seem to have missed the fact that the Dems from that period were the same folks as the R's in more modern times. The entire consevative south used to be solidly Dems. You are unaware of the time it switched? The 'Great DoSiDo'? The push by LBJ for fairness and civil right for blacks? The cynical NixonAtwater 'Southern Strategy'?

    Comes across as more ducking and dodging to avoid confronting what IanMac said.
    Last edited by David G; 06-16-2021 at 12:02 PM.
    David G
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    Yes, and that is the time period when Texas decided to have its own grid. It started almost 90 years ago, and was really set in stone by the 50s, certainly by the 70s. Since then, any interconnect project that has a large capability becomes rather costly. All the grids work on a nominal 60 htz, but they have significant frequency flucuations and they are not in phase. So one has to convert the AC to DC on the side that will be suppplying power at any time, then convert it back to the AC of the side receiving the power. This is not cheap.
    I'm sorry, but your writing here seems to be a bit opaque - are you telling us that AC generating stations in Texas convert their output to DC and back to AC? Are you telling us that the Texas generators are better at synchronizing their electrical generation's frequency to the Texas grid than other generators? It hertz to read, Peb.

    What, specifically are you asserting here?

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    So why do you guys seem to want to blame it on the republicans who have been in power in Texas since 1980?
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Don't'cha just hate it - hate it! - when ya bite off a bit too much - and then, ya hafta decide - 'do I keep on chewing? Or do I just spit it out?'

    Yep, that's the ticket.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    As to the current situation with the heat wave. Again, its a problem. But its a type of event that is not unique to Texas.
    And a relatively common issue in Texas, no? Why do they not appear to have the capacity to deal with issues that seem to have happened historically?

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    I get it, you guys love to beat up on Texas, but I don't think the rest of the nation has their act exactly in order either.
    Not Texas, just conservative "exceptionalism".

    Certainly other operators have combined grids - even across national borders. What makes it so difficult to do in your mind? In Vermont, some of the electricity is provided by hydroelectric generation in Canada.

    If you don't think the rest of the nation has their act in order, please cite some of the more egregious examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    And some problems, eg the separate grid, originated a long time ago and are not easy to fix. It really doesn't do much good throwing daggers at current and recent Texas politicians for decisions they somehow made 70-90 years ago.
    I think you overlook David's point that the decisions of the past and even those more recently - let's say the past 50 years - are being made by groups of people that share a certain outlook.

    More to the point - what is Texas doing now to solve their problems that have been brought to light by last winter's problems and now this summer's heat?
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by George Jung View Post
    Don't'cha just hate it - hate it! - when ya bite off a bit too much - and then, ya hafta decide - 'do I keep on chewing? Or do I just spit it out?'

    Yep, that's the ticket.
    Well, if it leaves a bad taste in your mouth, George...
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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  16. #51
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    ...
    Certainly other operators have combined grids - even across national borders. What makes it so difficult to do in your mind? In Vermont, some of the electricity is provided by hydroelectric generation in Canada.
    ...
    Actually - almost 1/2 of our power comes from Hydro Quebec and our largest power company is partially Canadian owned. Dunno about during the plague year, but historically Quebec is our largest trading partner, No - not just syrup DavidG...

    Cooperation is an amazing thing. We cooperate with Quebec on lake pollution, with them + NH & ME on forest fires, etc. etc. Additionally, during power outages, power companies all over the northeast & beyond share resources: parts, crews, you name it.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Peb, you are beating a lame horse.

    While one could do the research for a full and fair comparison (heck, you could do it yourself if you think it matters)... what you're doing is 'whataboutism'. "Yeah, we really gherkined the pooch, but what about Enron. Huh, huh???".

    If someone wanted to do such research in the spirit of discoverying 'best practices'... I'd be cheering. But you're just doing it to defend the status quo.

    The fact is, Texas' model is flawed. And you've had several instances now that provide illustration of exactly how is it is flawed. And your own people have produced reports detailing how to fix it. But the 'leaders' in Texas have willfully, stubbornly, cynically, and greedily refused to make those fixes. So it'll happen again. Not when the citizens will sit still for the pattern of 'privatize the profits, socialize the losses'.

    How many times will it happen before y'all wise up? As I find myself saying frequently to my Texas friends --- "You can always tell a Texan... you just can't tell 'em much."
    I am not beating a dead horse, you guys are. I am not defending the status quo, I know that our grid needs upgraded and improved. At one point, I did point out that the rest of the nation had problems with their grid also. That was not intended to be whataboutism, but simply pointing out that its odd to think all the problems are in Texas. When I made that single statement, the claim was made that the feds recognized the problems and had fixed them and/or were fixing them. So I asked for details about that claim, and its taken awhile to show that the claim is likely without merit.

    All seems more reasonable than claiming the "reds" simply didn't want federal regulation and have screwed everything up. Since the "reds" were not in power when the claim was made.

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    And a relatively common issue in Texas, no? Why do they not appear to have the capacity to deal with issues that seem to have happened historically?
    I don't think Texas's power outage problems are, on balance, any more severe than California's.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/othe...cid=uxbndlbing


    https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2021/06...power-outages/

    I missed this the thread on California having problems this summer. Wonder why the feds haven't fixed that yet.
    Last edited by peb; 06-16-2021 at 12:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    I get it, you guys love to beat up on Texas, but I don't think the rest of the nation has their act exactly in order either. And some problems, eg the separate grid, originated a long time ago and are not easy to fix. It really doesn't do much good throwing daggers at current and recent Texas politicians for decisions they somehow made 70-90 years ago.
    maybe the next time other states have problems Texas, and Texans, should just shut up? Becuase every time some other state has a problem Texas wastes not a second using it to score points in their relentless boosterism.

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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    I don't think Texas's power outage problems are, on balance, any more severe than California's.
    The “Balance” does a lot of work there.

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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    3 weeks ago I listened to a 30 minute presentation on the 20 year plan for improving Vermont's grid & got to ask some questions While not getting everything done that needs it (some areas of the state can't hook up as much renewable power as they'd like), there are indeed major improvements coming & they are coordinated with MA, NH, NY, and Quebec (IOW - the folks on our borders) where appropriate.

    ETA: Outages? In the 6 years we've lived in this house, we've been without power a total of less than 24 hours - the longest being about 5 hours & due to a snowstorm that dropped 28" of wet heavy snow in 24 hours.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    I don't think Texas's power outage problems are, on balance, any more severe than California's.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/othe...cid=uxbndlbing


    https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2021/06...power-outages/

    I missed this the thread on California having problems this summer. Wonder why the feds haven't fixed that yet.
    Well, the California grid has some of the most significant problems in the nation with their electrical grids in terms of generation shortages and shutdowns to prevent fires. So, by comparison, you seem to be asserting that Texas' power issues are pretty bad.
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  23. #58
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    Well, the California grid has some of the most significant problems in the nation with their electrical grids in terms of generation shortages and shutdowns to prevent fires. So, by comparison, you seem to be asserting that Texas' power issues are pretty bad.
    They certainly were this past winter. I am not overlly concerned about this summer. Apparently a lot of plants were down for maintenance. Why all at once? Who knows, likely an ERCOT screw up. But yea, we have problems. I have said so many times. Those problems are not simply that we are not interconnected with the other grids, originally that seemed to be the main point of this thread. Interconnecting will likely not solve all the problems. Indeed, it would likely make them worse, albeit hidden. Why? Well, its really, really expensive and we could spend money doing that or spend money upgrading our generators and transport grid.

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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    I am not beating a dead horse, you guys are. I am not defending the status quo, I know that our grid needs upgraded and improved. At one point, I did point out that the rest of the nation had problems with their grid also. That was not intended to be whataboutism, but simply pointing out that its odd to think all the problems are in Texas. When I made that single statement, the claim was made that the feds recognized the problems and had fixed them and/or were fixing them. So I asked for details about that claim, and its taken awhile to show that the claim is likely without merit.

    All seems more reasonable than claiming the "reds" simply didn't want federal regulation and have screwed everything up. Since the "reds" were not in power when the claim was made.
    I'm telling you your business model - being based more on ideology and greed than on overall efficacy - is broken. And you want to talk about upgrading the engineering? And divert with superfluities?

    You Are In Denial.
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    They certainly were this past winter. I am not overlly concerned about this summer. Apparently a lot of plants were down for maintenance. Why all at once? Who knows, likely an ERCOT screw up. But yea, we have problems. I have said so many times.
    Plants are generally taken off-line for maintenance in Spring and Fall as demands are usually at an annual low. Grid outages are usually carefully planned to match those times and "downtime" for generation facilities is carefully coordinated. A local power generation facility has a plant with two steam turbines One is serviced in the Spring, one in the Fall - just to avoid complete outage. From my perspective (having worked in an industry that supplied equipment to the power generating industry), plants down for maintenance right now seems to be a bit odd (late in season). Maybe they're addressing issues associated with the issues last winter? Maybe an ERCOT screw-up? Unless we know the reason, we're both just spit-balling.

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    Those problems are not simply that we are not interconnected with the other grids, originally that seemed to be the main point of this thread. Interconnecting will likely not solve all the problems. Indeed, it would likely make them worse, albeit hidden. Why? Well, its really, really expensive and we could spend money doing that or spend money upgrading our generators and transport grid.
    You keep making that assertion. It seems to be unfounded. Sure you could spend money doing any one of those things - but the way your grid operates seems to be for the benefit of profit of electrical generators and distributors, not the end user. What is the motivation of those generators and distributors to invest in upgrading the generation and transport infrastructure if it isn't mandated? Frankly, I see them wanting to pocket as much of the profit as they can and reinvest as little as is possible.
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  26. #61
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    I'm telling you your business model - being based more on ideology and greed than on overall efficacy - is broken. And you want to talk about upgrading the engineering? And divert with superfluities?

    You Are In Denial.
    I did not realize your point was that our power grid's business model was deficient. Explain to me what the difference is in the business model of the Texas grid to the business model of the rest of the US's grid.

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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    I did not realize your point was that our power grid's business model was deficient. Explain to me what the difference is in the business model of the Texas grid to the business model of the rest of the US's grid.
    Uh. Regulation?
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    I did not realize your point was that our power grid's business model was deficient. Explain to me what the difference is in the business model of the Texas grid to the business model of the rest of the US's grid.
    You are too far invested and embedded in your misery to make me think that hearing it from me will sink in. If you're interested in such a comparison... have at it. The exercise of bracing yourself for a fair and careful comparison will be salubrious.
    David G
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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post

    You keep making that assertion. It seems to be unfounded. Sure you could spend money doing any one of those things - but the way your grid operates seems to be for the benefit of profit of electrical generators and distributors, not the end user. What is the motivation of those generators and distributors to invest in upgrading the generation and transport infrastructure if it isn't mandated? Frankly, I see them wanting to pocket as much of the profit as they can and reinvest as little as is possible.
    It is not unfounded. The estimated cost of the Three Amigo Interconnect, in its original design, was $2 Billion dollars. It is not cheap. As for the grid being operated for the benefit of the generators and distributors, not the end user, our consumer electricity rates are rather low. Much lower than many of the blue states. As for mandating upgrades:

    https://sanangelolive.com/news/texas...xas-power-grid

    As for other motivations? Well, a lot has been done to move electricity from West Texas to Central East Texas the last few years, mainly new sources of renewable power. There must have been some motivation.

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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    You are too far invested and embedded in your misery to make me think that hearing it from me will sink in. If you're interested in such a comparison... have at it. The exercise of bracing yourself for a fair and careful comparison will be salubrious.
    You, and Geroge, and Ian, each has made a rather absolute claim and then cannot back it up. Ian, to his great credit, admitted so. You and George, just pretent it should all be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer. Guess what, I suspect its based on your preconceived notions, and you aren't interested in the actual facts.

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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Oh, look, Texas's grid has 26% of the nation's wind energy, and is 9% of the nation's solar energy.

    https://www.chooseenergy.com/data-ce...tion-by-state/
    https://www.chooseenergy.com/data-ce...tion-by-state/

    But our business model is way inferior to everyone elses, and there is no motivation in Texas to build these things, especially since they would all be in the relatively unpopulated parts of the state and our grid will never be upgraded to move that electricity to where it is needed.

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    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    It is not unfounded. The estimated cost of the Three Amigo Interconnect, in its original design, was $2 Billion dollars. It is not cheap. As for the grid being operated for the benefit of the generators and distributors, not the end user, our consumer electricity rates are rather low. Much lower than many of the blue states. As for mandating upgrades:

    https://sanangelolive.com/news/texas...xas-power-grid

    As for other motivations? Well, a lot has been done to move electricity from West Texas to Central East Texas the last few years, mainly new sources of renewable power. There must have been some motivation.
    For the interconnect, that $2B may not seem cheap to you. Distributing the cost among the various players is likely much less intimidating. I know that the sums of money that rolled around that business were large.

    The motivation? As always - more money. You can't sell what you can't deliver.

    Right now the consumer electricity rates are low. Wasn't last winter. How many users had multi-thousand dollar bills from that period of time?
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  33. #68
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    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    74,615

    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    You, and Geroge, and Ian, each has made a rather absolute claim and then cannot back it up. Ian, to his great credit, admitted so. You and George, just pretent it should all be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer. Guess what, I suspect its based on your preconceived notions, and you aren't interested in the actual facts.
    I'm sure you're absolutely correct, and it wouldn't be worth your time to conduct the sort of open-minded research you yourself suggested.

    To be fair, you have shown the ability to change, grudgingly, your perspective if consistently hammered with enough facts and enough voices. But I don't have the time or inclination to help you work thru your process at the present time. Good luck.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  34. #69
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    downward bound
    Posts
    8,313

    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    To recap: Texas has a crappy grid because that’s the way they want it and failure is ok to them. They’ll brag about their failed system. Goddamn, what a disfunctional failed society the us is becoming.

  35. #70
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    40,376

    Default Re: Hey Texas, why is your power grid pretty much disconnected from the rest of the U

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    Oh, look, Texas's grid has 26% of the nation's wind energy, and is 9% of the nation's solar energy.

    https://www.chooseenergy.com/data-ce...tion-by-state/
    https://www.chooseenergy.com/data-ce...tion-by-state/

    But our business model is way inferior to everyone elses, and there is no motivation in Texas to build these things, especially since they would all be in the relatively unpopulated parts of the state and our grid will never be upgraded to move that electricity to where it is needed.
    How Texas has embraced wind & solar is a really good thing & you are to be applauded for it. However, it doesn't do much good if you can't get the power produced to the customer.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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