Gov. Abbott gives no timetable for full power restoration

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Thursday, February 18, 2021
Power back for 1.2M Texas households, Gov. Abbott says
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The Texas governor said strides being made to restore energy in the midst of a power crisis, but no timetable was given for full restoration.

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- While the biggest question looming right now is when Texas will fully restore power, Gov. Greg Abbott says the effort is making strides.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Texas governor offered Public Utilities Commission data that showed 6,000 megawatts of power was added to the state's grid since midnight, which equates to 1.2 million households being restored. That number has since grown to 1.6 million households, as reported by ERCOT.

Abbott also said the state is poised to restore about 400,000 more homes, drawing from the South Texas Nuclear Project and the state's coal project.

"There are various small, natural gas generators that are currently going on and off," said Abbott. "They should sporadically add about 3,000 megawatts over the next 24 hours and that would equate to about 600,000 homes."

He said about 19,800 megawatts of gas-powered generation is still offline because of mechanical issues or the lack of gas supply for them to produce power.

"There continue to be problems with natural-gas fired generators as well as wind generation," the governor added.

He added, "I have issued an order, effective [Wednesday] through February 21st requiring those [natural gas] producers that have been shipping to locations outside of Texas to instead sell that natural gas to Texas power generators."

Abbott also reported on the continued loss of power involving renewable-generated power. He says 17,200 megawatts are offline due to freezing temperatures and lack of sun.

Over the last couple of days, renewables has been a main target of those higher up in Austin, though, most of their claims are quickly determined to be unfounded.

SEE MORE: No, frozen wind turbines aren't the main culprit for Texas' power outages

The latest briefing from Abbott offered some optimism that things were heading back to normal, but it didn't provide specific timing about when the full restoration will happen or where power has been restored.

Abbott's briefing also came just hours after ERCOT, the state's grid operator, similarly provided little insight into a timetable. The nonprofit council's leadership admitted there was "maybe" failure in giving timely info over the course of the severe winter weather. They also insisted that prolonged outages had to be done at the beginning of the storm to avoid an outage lasting months.

Just the day before, Abbott voiced his displeasure with ERCOT, even calling on its board to resign.

SEE MORE: Gov. Greg Abbott calls on ERCOT leadership to resign during ABC13 one-on-one interview

In a twist, the board of directors section of ERCOT's website showed each position as vacant, though, the grid operator insists that's not the case.

SEE MORE: ERCOT leadership names removed because of threats

Outside of the power issues, Abbott didn't ignore the widespread water crisis across impacted cities.

"Many people have already experienced busted pipes. They've had their homes or apartments or other locations already filled up with water," said Abbott as he suggested affected folks to start working with a plumber now.