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.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.