Texas: Grid vulnerability warnings in Texas

Nov 22, 2021 | Posted by MadalineDunn

There are growing concerns around grid availability in Texas after the announcement that as much as 5,000MW of cryptocurrency load could be added to the grid by 2023. 

According to reports, operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) will oversee 3,000-5,000 MW added in addition to the existing load of 500-1,000 MW. 

While cryptocurrency miners have certainly got their critics, both senator Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbot believe that the mining industry is a positive presence, and companies will be able to use available excess power. However, in a time when there needs to be a global and deliberate move away from using fossil fuels, mining typically uses electricity generated from unclean fuels. 

On top of that, the additional pressure placed on the grid could be potentially crippling. The most recent assessment by ERCOT outlined that the grid, for the most part, should support power demands, but others argue that it is unstable and vulnerable. After all, it was found to be the most vulnerable grid in the US and has in the past been subject to blackouts following storms which ended in significant damage and the deaths of hundreds. 

It is clear that going forward, decision-makers must be mindful of their approach and take into consideration a whole range of factors. Subjecting an unstable grid to further pressure seems like a recipe for disaster.