Texas officials reiterate that state's grid is prepped as colder months approach: 'We are ready'

Lileana Pearson Image
Friday, December 15, 2023
ERCOT says grid is squared away as bitter cold months approach
ERCOT and several Texas officials assure residents that the state's power grid is prepped and ready as colder months arrive.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott and energy leaders said the grid is winter-ready and better prepared than ever before, yet customers told ABC13 that just two years after the grid failed in a winter freeze, they are hopeful but hesitant.

"I don't expect it, but that was a surprise, and I could be surprised again," homeowner Mary Baker said.

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"I don't know. I'm a little scared, but I'm hoping everything works out," Gloria Contreras said.

Those ABC13 talked to said they want to believe that past mistakes have been learned from and we're squared away for this upcoming winter, which Abbott, energy providers, and ERCOT leaders said they are.

"In regards to the winter, I want to assure everybody that we are ready," Calpine CEO Thad Hill said.

ERCOT said it added 3,000 megawatts to the grid in 2023, which is enough power for around 600,000 homes. It's also brought in new inspectors and has inspected 1,500 facilities. It plans to do 500 more this year.

"Texans should know, as we approach January and February, it's going to get colder, and Texas and the grid are better prepared than we've ever been," Abbott said.

ABC13 is told that ERCOT is also preparing for future winters. A new natural gas plant was announced to stay ahead of a growing Texas population and demand on the grid. The plant is projected to come online in 2026 in Freestone County and generate power for another 85,000 homes.

RELATED: ERCOT addresses summer strain on grid and plan for winter conditions

"This is an important project. This is really good for the state of Texas. It reflects the progress the state is making in encouraging the energy resources of the state. Texas has always been and always will be a leader in energy investments, and this is a representation of that innovation moving forward," ERCOT's CEO Pablo Vegas said.

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