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The Texas power grid is isolated and cannot routinely import power. It can in very temporary and emergency situations, but they do not as a matter of course to avoid federal oversight.

So while the US Western grid can time shift one hour in the way you describe, Texas is isolated.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Interconnection

https://www.texastribune.org/2011/02/08/texplainer-why-does-...

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Yup, because ... Texas. In the entire country there are 3 roughly independent systems: East, West, and Texas. Maybe they’ll reconsider given these incredibly high prices?

There have been instances where the power spot price has gone negative, too. They have not had major outages. I don't see why they would reconsider.

There's definitely an opinion in Texas that ERCOT is more reliable than the other two US grid managers, so it's popular to remain independent for that reason as well (besides the political reasons). Both the Eastern [1] and Western [2] Interconnections have had major grid-management incidents that took down large portions of the grid in cascading failures, and some analysts think further incidents are likely [3], while the Texas grid has never gone down.

There is some support for expanding the capacity of the asynchronous DC interconnects, though, which would let Texas import & export more electricity to the other two grids without tying itself to them directly. It already does a modest amount of that, but the current DC links don't have very high capacity.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_blackout_of_2003

[2] https://www.nwcouncil.org/reports/columbia-river-history/bla...

[3] https://www.vox.com/2014/4/14/5604992/us-power-grid-vulnerab...


Yeah Texas just has rolling blackouts every other month. Totally reliable and not considered an outage how?

As far as I'm aware, there have been no rolling blackouts in Texas since the last major incident in winter 2011. Got a source?

No, but blackouts after storms are pretty common. Sometimes lasting for days.

IMO, that’s a big part of the reason why backup generators are so very popular here in Texas.

Certainly, that’s the reason I have seriously considered installing a 10-15KW natural gas powered backup generator. It wouldn’t be grid-tied or even grid-interactive in any way, but it wouldn’t take me long to go downstairs and throw the transfer switch.


What part of TX do you live in? My parents have lived in suburban Houston for 20 years, and their power has basically never gone out for more than short blips, not even during tropical storms or hurricanes. The power lines in their neighborhood are buried though. I imagine if you're getting frequent outages you must have above-ground lines that get downed by trees? That can be an issue, but doesn't have a whole lot to do with the state-level grid, just whether a given subdivision or city has chosen to spend the money to bury the last-mile lines or not.

California has far more rolling blackouts. When I lived in Texas, the only power outages I ever saw were during hurricanes or some random local event like a transformer going out.

Texas may be somewhat isolated from neighboring grids but it does have some ability to do some solar collection time shifting since the sun take over 50 minutes to traverse the entire state. Texas spans almost the entire central time zone; El Paso is in the Mountain time zone.

Nevertheless, Texas seems to be an ideal location for both wind and solar energy (and ironically, oil and gas too).


Texas is actually the largest producer of wind power, by far.

https://i.redd.it/zug13sa7e1521.jpg

But lags in solar.




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