What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us

White outs cause power black outs in Texas

Marketplace Staff Feb 4, 2011
HTML EMBED:
COPY

White outs cause power black outs in Texas

Marketplace Staff Feb 4, 2011
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

JEREMY HOBSON: Lights are back on in Texas this morning after rolling blackouts cut power to nearly a million and a half households earlier this week. Officials say cold weather caused more than 50 power plants to fail, leaving the state’s grid with little juice to feed demand. The problem’s been solved, but not without cost.

From KUT in Austin, Erika Aguilar reports.


ERIKA AGUILAR: Power plants have been working overtime since Wednesday to keep the state from implementing more blackouts. At one point, Mexico was sending electricity to Texas. Trip Doggett manages the state’s power grid.

TRIP DOGGETT: The price in certain intervals was three thousand dollars per megawatt hour.

The average price this time of year is less than hundred dollars per megawatt hour. So who pays for the extra cost? Doggett fielded that question at a press conference Thursday.

DOGGETT: It actually gets passed to what we refer to as a retail electric provider?

In other words — utilities. So would that cost ultimately shift down to customers?

DOGGETT: Ultimately that would.

Texas officials continue to ask people to cut back on energy. The grid still lacks enough power for 600 thousand homes. But snow and low temperatures are expected to linger through today.

In Austin, I’m Erika Aguilar for Marketplace.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.