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Sunday, October 17, 2021

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Texas’ power grid worries some UH students


A series of power lines in a field, with a thermometer showing extremely high temperatures

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

For the first time since the September of 2020, Texas recorded triple-digit temperatures compelling residents to notch up their air conditioning and rendering a large number of power plants out of service for unprecedented repairs, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

This power plant grievance came amidst a call for energy conservation  from ERCOT to prevent blackouts much like the ones experienced during the staggering winter storm in February, which caused great inconvenience to residents across Texas.

“What really is terrifying is that summer has not even properly started and we are already seeing soaring temperatures and potential blackouts,” said business graduate student Keerthana Reddy. “Makes one wonder what summer would actually bring? And will ERCOT leave us in turbulence again?” 

ERCOT, the independent nonprofit, regulates the cost of power and balances the supply and demand of the power grid. 

The nonprofit received much denunciation for the failure of their power grid amidst the winter storm, with freezing temperatures causing blackouts, depriving many residents of electricity and heat for several days. 

ERCOT once again finds itself under fire, facing backlash for asking residents to preserve energy to help prevent a similar catastrophic event.

The company suggested Texans turn their thermostats to at least 78 degrees, and refrain from using appliances like ovens and washing machines.

Although there was significant backlash from Texans following the conservation plea, there are some who aren’t wanting to risk the potential consequences of not following through.

“It’s honestly infuriating that we have to do this in such scorching heat, and I would hate shifting my thermostat to 78 degrees during the day, but hey do I want a repeat of what happened in February?” said history sophomore Julia Tran. “No thanks.”

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