We need a huge infrastructure program...

IndyHusker

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Officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said that grid operators implemented blackouts to avoid a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months.

Texas’ power grid was “seconds and minutes” away from a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months, officials with the entity that operates the grid said Thursday. As millions of customers throughout the state begin to have power restored after days of massive blackouts, officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which operates the power grid that covers most of the state, said Texas was dangerously close to a worst-case scenario: uncontrolled blackouts across the state.

The quick decision that grid operators made in the early hours of Monday morning to begin what was intended to be rolling blackouts — but lasted days for millions of Texans — occurred because operators were seeing warning signs that massive amounts of energy supply was dropping off the grid.

As natural gas fired plants, utility scale wind power and coal plants tripped offline due to the extreme cold brought by the winter storm, the amount of power supplied to the grid to be distributed across the state fell rapidly. At the same time, demand was increasing as consumers and businesses turned up the heat and stayed inside to avoid the weather.

“It needed to be addressed immediately," said Bill Magness, president of ERCOT. “It was seconds and minutes [from possible failure] given the amount of generation that was coming off the system.” Grid operators had to act quickly to cut the amount of power distributed, Magness said, because if they had waited, “then what happens in that next minute might be that three more [power generation] units come offline, and then you’re sunk.”

Magness said on Wednesday that if operators had not acted in that moment, the state could have suffered blackouts that “could have occurred for months,” and left Texas in an “indeterminately long” crisis.

While generators rapidly dropped off the grid as the weather worsened, operators monitored the difference between the supply of power on the grid and the demand for that power. As supply dwindled and demand grew, the margin narrowed to more and more dangerous levels, forcing grid operators to enact emergency protocols to either increase supply or decrease demand.

The worst case scenario: Demand for power outstrips the supply of power generation available on the grid, causing equipment to catch fire, substations to blow and power lines to go down. If the grid had gone totally offline, the physical damage to power infrastructure from overwhelming the grid could have taken months to repair, said Bernadette Johnson, senior vice president of power and renewables at Enverus, an oil and gas software and information company headquartered in Austin.

“As chaotic as it was, the whole grid could’ve been in blackout,” she said. “ERCOT is getting a lot of heat, but the fact that it wasn’t worse is because of those grid operators.”
 

scopeandtime

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nelsonj22

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As someone that witnessed and went through the licensing and regulation of plumbos in Iowa, I was always against regulation.

After spending 12 years seeing some of the shit people do and charge people for, regulations are a necessary evil.
 

zar45

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Yes. What would you put in the basket of priority for upgrade?

power grid / including making it easier for people to add solar to their homes, businesses
EV facilities
bridges and tunnels
mass transit/ inter-city TGV-style trains
airports/ runways
high-speed, high traffic internet

Water treatment plants and distribution
Wastewater plants and distribution
 

Hardlyboy

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As someone that witnessed and went through the licensing and regulation of plumbos in Iowa, I was always against regulation.

After spending 12 years seeing some of the shit people do and charge people for, regulations are a necessary evil.
Yup, the saying “regulations are written in blood” because they usually happen after something catastrophic.
 

nelsonj22

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Yup, the saying “regulations are written in blood” because they usually happen after something catastrophic.
Just like the code, especially electrical.

There could be a million homes wired the same way but if 1 burns down, you bet your ass there will be a code change outlawing that wiring method.
 

nelsonj22

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zar45

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We are long overdue. I remember something much smaller in scale being proposed a couple years ago that never got off the ground due to..................partisan politics

Unfortunately Trump was probably had the best opportunity to do it, being able to brow beat Republicans while hopping on the Democrats' hobby horse.
 

lolwat

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As a state that regularly threatens to leave the union, and dooks on any federal program designed to help anything, I am not particularly interested in my tax money funneling to their state for an infrastructure bailout.
 

nelsonj22

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As a state that regularly threatens to leave the union, and dooks on any federal program designed to help anything, I am not particularly interested in my tax money funneling to their state for an infrastructure bailout.
Yep fvck Texas

Nebraska has zero issue, just like football BITD, if they don't "hitch their wagons" to Texas power.

Cucks gonna cuck I guess, seems western Nebraska wants to be Texas sooooo bad it literally hurts them.
 
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Wils97

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As a state that regularly threatens to leave the union, and dooks on any federal program designed to help anything, I am not particularly interested in my tax money funneling to their state for an infrastructure bailout.

I get what you are saying, but we all end up paying for it somewhere. Federal hurricane relief, whatever we are tossing into Texas out of the federal coffers for this latest issue, Flint's water fiasco, and so on....because some states refuse to upgrade.

So, if we are going to spend money anyways, let's do it to prevent a problem, rather than patching up after one.
 
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lolwat

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I get what you are saying, but we all end up paying for it somewhere. Federal hurricane relief, whatever we are tossing into Texas out of the federal coffers for this latest issue, Flint's water fiasco, and so on....because some states refuse to upgrade.

Michigan hasn't threatened to leave the union. They are generally on board with federal programs intended to help its 49 siblings. So Flint's water I am very on board with helping.

These states constantly rail on help until it's their turn. Then they show up with hat in hand. Rick Perry said texans are willing to deal with blackouts. I think we should let them.
 

Wils97

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Michigan hasn't threatened to leave the union. They are generally on board with federal programs intended to help its 49 siblings. So Flint's water I am very on board with helping.

These states constantly rail on help until it's their turn. Then they show up with hat in hand. Rick Perry said texans are willing to deal with blackouts. I think we should let them.

Yeah, I hear ya. It’s a tough pill to swallow sometimes. You almost want them to go ahead and try and leave...which some of them (Texas, etc) tried once already. Didn’t work out so well.
 
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Hardlyboy

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We are long overdue. I remember something much smaller in scale being proposed a couple years ago that never got off the ground due to..................partisan politics
Could’ve happened last year...

 

nordakotahusker

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Just like the code, especially electrical.

There could be a million homes wired the same way but if 1 burns down, you bet your ass there will be a code change outlawing that wiring method.


One in a million isn't really catastrophic is it?
 

lolwat

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There really isn't much demand for cross-country train travel. You don't think Amtrak does a decent job of it?

If there was a 200+ mph train from swim town to denver or the other way to chicago, i'd probably take it.

But amtrak has to share track with people, often gets lower priority, next thing you know an amtrak ride from omaha to denver is 16 hours... the crappers end up full and stink, etc.
 

nelsonj22

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One in a million isn't really catastrophic is it?
No and usually a sparky f up or shotty work. But it will be in the latest rendition of the code.

There's stuff that actually gets people killed, AE sharing neutrals, but really the GFCI/Arc fault in everything is a little overkill. It does have its places.
 

nordakotahusker

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If there was a 200+ mph train from swim town to denver or the other way to chicago, i'd probably take it.

But amtrak has to share track with people, often gets lower priority, next thing you know an amtrak ride from omaha to denver is 16 hours... the crappers end up full and stink, etc.


If your aunt had balls she'd be your uncle. Well, maybe not if she identified as your uncle right?

If it was economically feasible, it might happen. This aint Europe. Take a cheap flight and be happy.
 

Red_Hack

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Officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said that grid operators implemented blackouts to avoid a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months.

Texas’ power grid was “seconds and minutes” away from a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months, officials with the entity that operates the grid said Thursday. As millions of customers throughout the state begin to have power restored after days of massive blackouts, officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which operates the power grid that covers most of the state, said Texas was dangerously close to a worst-case scenario: uncontrolled blackouts across the state.

The quick decision that grid operators made in the early hours of Monday morning to begin what was intended to be rolling blackouts — but lasted days for millions of Texans — occurred because operators were seeing warning signs that massive amounts of energy supply was dropping off the grid.

As natural gas fired plants, utility scale wind power and coal plants tripped offline due to the extreme cold brought by the winter storm, the amount of power supplied to the grid to be distributed across the state fell rapidly. At the same time, demand was increasing as consumers and businesses turned up the heat and stayed inside to avoid the weather.

“It needed to be addressed immediately," said Bill Magness, president of ERCOT. “It was seconds and minutes [from possible failure] given the amount of generation that was coming off the system.” Grid operators had to act quickly to cut the amount of power distributed, Magness said, because if they had waited, “then what happens in that next minute might be that three more [power generation] units come offline, and then you’re sunk.”

Magness said on Wednesday that if operators had not acted in that moment, the state could have suffered blackouts that “could have occurred for months,” and left Texas in an “indeterminately long” crisis.

While generators rapidly dropped off the grid as the weather worsened, operators monitored the difference between the supply of power on the grid and the demand for that power. As supply dwindled and demand grew, the margin narrowed to more and more dangerous levels, forcing grid operators to enact emergency protocols to either increase supply or decrease demand.

The worst case scenario: Demand for power outstrips the supply of power generation available on the grid, causing equipment to catch fire, substations to blow and power lines to go down. If the grid had gone totally offline, the physical damage to power infrastructure from overwhelming the grid could have taken months to repair, said Bernadette Johnson, senior vice president of power and renewables at Enverus, an oil and gas software and information company headquartered in Austin.

“As chaotic as it was, the whole grid could’ve been in blackout,” she said. “ERCOT is getting a lot of heat, but the fact that it wasn’t worse is because of those grid operators.”
Or just implement a plan to force datacenters to move to their generators as primary and the problem is solved. Couple dozen gigawatts right there.

This is more piss poor planning and implementation than some multi billion dollar equipment issue.
 

whiteshoes97

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Maybe this is dumb, but I would love it if we had a decent train system for traveling across the US.
Maybe this is dumb, but I would love it if we had a decent train system for traveling across the US.
Starting to pop up...there is one that is planning to be built from Vegas to LA. I don’t believe most of the $3billion outlay will be government financed either
 
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Red_Hack

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Starting to pop up...there is one that is planning to be built from Vegas to LA. I don’t believe most of the $3billion outlay will be government financed either
I think we are past trains. The cost do that would far exceed what it will take to get to autonomous electric vehicles. Something we already have infrastructure for.

Too much distance. And by the time we could build them, we may have 100mph personal cars you can sleep in while it goes.
 

damcde

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There really isn't much demand for cross-country train travel. You don't think Amtrak does a decent job of it?

My two experiences with Amtrack resulted in more time waiting at a station for track to use than actually moving.
 

nordakotahusker

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My two experiences with Amtrack resulted in more time waiting at a station for track to use than actually moving.


That's one of the reasons people don't use it much. There just isn't enough demand to justify their own tracks, etc. I don't think the feds should be spending too much more on it either, as the return just isn't there.
 
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