EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
Courtesy of CenterPoint

Where were the blackouts and why?

If your power went out during the rolling blackouts on Wednesday it was probably because CenterPoint Energy engineers didn’t like your curve… that’s your annual power usage as its tracked on a line graph.  More »
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

* Update* Where was the back-up power on Wednesday?

For long-range planning Texas’ grid operator aims to have at least 13.75 percent more power plant capacity on hand than expected peak demand. But for daily planning that number is much lower. Going into Wednesday morning it appears that margin was closer to 6 percent.  More »
(Johnny Hanson /Houston Chronicle file photo)

Houston power outages minimal, says CenterPoint *Update*

*Update The number of customers without power has dropped throughout the day, with about 1900 still down shortly before 6 p.m. Most of the problems continue to be on Galveston island. Ice damaged power lines overnight and in the early morning, while ice on the causeway leading to the island slowed down the pace as […]  More »
(Photo: David Paul Ohmer/Flickr)

FuelFix Newslinks |02.04.11|

Cold power concerns linger. Shell cancels Alaska plans. Wood Group eyes sales.  More »
(Photo: AEI Services)

Rolling blackouts possible in Rio Grande Valley

The region along the Texas/Mexico border is vulnerable because of local power plant issues and the limited amount of electricity that can be sent to the region from other parts of the state.  More »
The control room of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in Austin, 2002. (Houston Chronicle file photo)

Grid CEO: ‘We don’t anticipate issues tonight’ but must conserve power

About 3,000 megawatts of planned power plant capacity are still offline, says ERCOT CEO Trip Doggett, but Texas’ power grid seems have put Wednesday’s crisis behind it.  More »
(Johnny Hanson /Houston Chronicle file photo)

Power crisis averted for Thursday, but conservation still encouraged

Texas didn’t hit a new peak power record this morning as statewide conservation warnings seemed to work. More power plants returned to service today, but other problems may loom.  More »
Alicia Medrano, left, holds a candle so Consuelo Vasquez can check an order in the kitchen at Irma's restaurant Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Houston. The restaurant lost power at least three times from weather-related rolling blackouts. (Photo: Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle )

Utility commission: ‘Unprecedented’ outages must be studied

Texas’ Public Utility Commission says once the cold weather passes, it will look at the root causes of Wednesday’s power outages and examine whether the state power grid operator’s notification system needs to be changed to give Texans more notice of outages.  More »
(Image: Fotolia)

The lucky ones: Who avoided the rolling blackouts?

Did my power stay on all day Wednesday because CenterPoint likes me so much? No. It’s more likely because it will be my turn during a different kind of emergency.  More »
(Photo: Alex Askew/Flickr)

ERCOT: Controlled blackouts may not be needed today *Update*

ERCOT says the power emergency is over and rolling blackouts can be stopped for now, but the agency will monitor the grid closely for any additional issues.  More »
(Photo: David Paul Ohmer/Flickr)

FuelFix Newslinks |02.03.11|

Texas scrambles to avoid more blackouts. Frac study grows near. Feinberg’s tight with BP.  More »
(Photo: Aine D/Flickr)

The blackouts might return: What you can do to avoid them

Texas power officials want consumers to keep conserving power until the widespread power plant outages are resolved.  More »
(Photo: Fotolia)

What’s behind the blackouts? Power plants not designed for cold weather

Frozen pipes, clogged gas line likely led to power plant outages in the northern part of the state.  More »
(Photo: AEI Services)

Texans encouraged to conserve as rolling blackouts continue *Updated*

Texas utilities may begin rolling blackouts — temporary controlled outages — in response to power plants going offline due to the cold.  More »
(Photo: Jeff Kubina/Flickr)

Magnolia without power for hours

Readers from the community north of Houston say blackouts began around 7:30 a.m. and lasted into the afternoon.  More »