Federal report recommends ways to prevent future winter storm power outages


AUSTIN (KXAN) — A preliminary report by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recommends improvements in cold weather preparedness to prevent a recurrence of the widespread power outages that happened during the February winter storm. 

The report calls for power providers to meet tougher standards for protecting equipment from subfreezing temperatures.

“This is a wake-up call for all of us,” said FERC Chairman Rich Glick. “There was a similar inquiry after Texas experienced extreme cold weather in 2011, but those recommendations were not acted on.” 

The assessment done by FERC points to the freezing of generator components and fuel issues as the top two major causes of power outages.

The U.S experienced its largest monthly decline of natural gas production on record between January and February of 2021. Out of all outages and derates caused by fuel issues, 87% were due to natural gas fuel. The decline in production of natural gas led to shut-ins, freezing issues and power outages.

The preliminary report makes more than two dozen recommendations aimed at further safeguarding power plants and natural gas supplies. The presentations of the preliminary findings and recommendations are available here.

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