by WorldTribune Staff, February 15, 2021
Nearly half of the wind power generation capacity in Texas was offline as a winter storm froze wind turbines, reports say.
A photograph which has generated several memes online shows a helicopter spraying a de-icing chemical onto the blades of one of the massive wind turbines.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state’s grid operator, issued an alert asking consumers and businesses to conserve power, citing record-breaking energy demands due to extreme cold gripping the state, Reuters reported.
“We are dealing with higher-than-normal generation outages due to frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies available to generating units,” ERCOT said.
Of the 25,000-plus megawatts of wind-power capacity normally available in Texas, some 12,000 megawatts was out of service as of Sunday morning “due to the winter weather event we’re experiencing in Texas,” ERCOT spokeswoman Leslie Sopko said.
Wind generation ranks as the second-largest source of energy in Texas, accounting for 23 percent of state power supplies last year, behind natural gas, which represented 45 percent, according to ERCOT figures.
Wind energy is “sustainable“, according the the Department of Energy website. “New wind projects account for annual investments of over $10 billion in the U.S. economy,” the government agency reports.