…Fixing ERCOT, the Texas Grid…
The best, and possibly only way to fix ERCOT is to stop building wind and solar farms and build new baseload power plants instead.
Some have suggested that ERCOT should merge with MISO or the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), or utilities to its west, i.e., New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and the Rocky Mountain Power Area.
The fact is, MISO and SPP barely kept most of the lights on during the big freeze, and were dangerously short on baseload power. It’s doubtful the utilities in New Mexico, etc., along with their rate payers, would want to become burdened with ERCOT’s problems.
The fact that some of ERCOT’s baseload power plants had problems has allowed the advocates of wind and solar to muddy the waters.
The facts tell the story.
This earlier ERCOT graph projected essentially zero baseload reserves in 2021.
The next graph shows that ERCOT needed approximately 10,000 MW of additional baseload capacity.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has proposed investing $8.3 billion to build 10 new natural gas combined cycle power plants that would only operate during emergencies. In effect, this would provide ERCOT with its reserve margin.
(At a cost of $1,000/KW, each plant would be rated 830 MW, for a total reserve of 8,300 MW.)
It’s clear that Berkshire Hathaway sees the importance of reserve margins.
It’s also clear Berkshire Hathaway expects that ERCOT will continue to have emergencies unless ERCOT takes action to build new baseload power plants.
ERCOT and its rate payers will have to pay Berkshire Hathaway for making this investment.
The alternative is for ERCOT to initiate capacity auctions, or install capacity mandates, where Texas utilities will make the investment in baseload power.
Without new baseload power plants, i.e., nuclear, natural gas combined cycle, or coal-fired power plants, the citizens of Texas will continue to suffer blackouts.
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