Texans are cranking the AC, prompting worries about the state’s power grid
GOODWYN: Climate change certainly seems to be exerting itself. Austin just experienced the hottest seven days in its history, 110 degrees on Sunday, then settling down to 109 for the next two days, then cooling to a pleasant 108 high on Wednesday. Bragging about how big Texas is is a lot more amusing than talking about how hot it’s gotten. Here’s Beth Garza, an expert with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, known as ERCOT, which controls the Texas grid.
BETH GARZA: We use lots of electricity here. Compared to the eight states of the New England market, Texas, on its own, is at least double the size. But yes, for the most part, Texas is an island.
GOODWYN: A massive user of power, Texas is, by and large, on its own isolated power grid. The disastrous winter outage last year damaged Governor Greg Abbott’s reputation as he initially pointed blame at wind and solar power while the collapse of natural gas production left millions all across the state freezing for days, with hundreds dead. Governor Abbott seems more confident about the power stations coping with the heat. But listening to him in an interview with Austin TV station KVUE, you can hear he’s still in reassurance mode.