Counties with fewer power outages are not part of Texas grid

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El Paso County is one place to expertise minimal power outages, regardless of getting battered by the historic winter storm.

HOUSTON — Some elements of Texas battered by the winter storm had comparatively few properties lose power.

They are primarily in areas outdoors of ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the electrical grid for 90% of the state and operates separate from federal oversight and regulation.

El Paso County is one place to expertise minimal power outages, regardless of getting battered by the historic winter storm.

“We had about three thousand people that were out during this period, a thousand of them had outages that were less than five minutes,” stated Eddie Gutierrez, vice chairman of strategic communications for El Paso Electric.

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Gutierrez stated the company discovered a tough lesson and after an enormous freeze hit Texas in 2011. It invested thousands and thousands in cold-weather upgrades.

“Making sure that we had we could winterize our equipment and facilities so they could stand minus-10 degree weather for a sustained period of time,” he stated.

On the east facet of state, a number of counties round Beaumont additionally suffered comparatively few outages, based on the web site poweroutage.us which collects and aggregates information throughout the nation.

The Beaumont space is served by Entergy, which additionally beefed up winterization efforts after the storm a decade in the past.

“We’ve added more insulation to some areas of our plants, placed additional heaters on critical equipment and added more barricades to block wind from other key equipment,” stated Entergy spokesperson Allison Payne.

But weatherization requirements are voluntary in Texas, and state utility regulators stated they’ve historically centered extra on scorching climate and hurricanes, not the bitter chilly.

“There’s probably a need to take a look at what those standards are and see if they need to be adjusted,” stated Andrew Barlow, spokesperson for the Texas Public Utility Commission.

The challenge is more likely to come up in coming weeks on the Texas capitol, as Gov. Greg Abbott has made ERCOT reform an emergency merchandise on the legislative agenda.

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