DALLAS – Officials at the agency responsible for regulating the Texas power grid said they expect a cold snap forecast in the state this week to push electricity demand to near levels that were seen during the 2021 winter storm.
An arctic front is expected to sweep through later this week, bringing snow, ice and subfreezing temperatures across a large swath of the Lone Star State.
FOX 4 in Dallas reported Monday that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas is erring on the side of caution and will have more power ready than what is needed based on the current forecast.
Earlier this month, ERCOT officials said they believe the state’s power grid is in good shape after they completed inspections at more than 300 facilities.
"The Texas electric grid is more prepared for winter operations than ever before," said Brad Jones, ERCOT’s interim CEO.
An energy analyst told FOX 4 he thinks power generators should be able to handle the coming cold.
"The generators, the big power generators, they’ve all been inspected for weatherization," said Bruce Bullock, a professor at Southern Methodist University’s Maguire Energy Institute. "Couple of them were actually fined back in December for not meeting that deadline. So, I think right now, based upon the forecast we see and based upon what we know, they are going to be in pretty good shape."
This is the first widespread cold weather in the state since the deadly winter storm that enveloped the state leading up to Valentine’s Day last year. Hundreds of thousands of people were left without power and water for days amid some of the coldest weather seen in the state in a decade. More than 200 people died during the storm.
In the fallout, new regulations were put in place to ensure power facilities are better prepared to deal with extreme cold. Lawmakers also increased the fine for violating winterization rules to $1 million per day per violation.