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ERCOT officials said the power plant outages were unexpected — and could not provide details as to what could be causing them. Warren Lasher, ERCOT senior director of systems planning, said Monday that having this many plant outages in June is “not consistent” with previous summers and called the situation “very concerning.”

ERCOT has promised to conduct an analysis to determine why so many units are offline this week. Some experts theorized that the winter storm in February may have caused damage to plants that is causing new complications, but ERCOT officials did not offer any details.

An ERCOT official said the outages were “spread” across the state and declined to provide specifics.

However, at least one of the generators out of service includes a unit at the Comanche Peak nuclear plant outside of Fort Worth. It was shut down when the main transformer experienced a fire, according to Vistra Corp., which owns the plant.

Are renewables or fossil fuels to blame for this week?

The majority of the unexpected power plant outages are from “thermal” sources, which in Texas are largely powered by natural gas plants. Of the approximately 12,000 megawatts of generation forced offline Monday, about 9,600 megawatts, or nearly 80% of the outages, were from thermal power sources, according to ERCOT.

Less than 500 megawatts of thermal generation offline on Monday were planned to be out for maintenance, ERCOT officials said.

Power from wind turbines on Monday afternoon was between 3,500 to 6,000 megawatts, according to ERCOT, which was 1,500 megawatts lower than what the grid operator typically expects during the peak time of usage in the summer afternoons. ERCOT officials said wind output will likely increase as the week continues.

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/06/15/texas-power-grid-erc...

Jaak
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