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Regulators release causes of power failures during 'big freeze'

Cause of February's power grid failure examined
Posted at 12:41 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 13:43:28-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texans now know more about what caused power failures during February's “big freeze” across the state.

Federal energy regulators released their final report. It says more than half of power generators that shut down would have been able to run if equipment was better protected against ice and cold.

Regulators say plants should put extreme weather protection plans in place, and that power companies should be compensated for that with government support or utility bill charges.

The investigation also found that the second leading cause of outages was a shortage of natural gas.

And now, gas supply issues are a top concern as we head into winter.

"There's one area that I continue to have concerns about, and that is fuel security,” said Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of ERCOT. “That's always been an issue in Texas, fuel security, even though we have an abundance of natural gas."

Texas is already taking steps to better protect power plants.

The Texas Public Utility Commission recently approved new winterization rules with tough penalties.