NHA Responds to Electric Grid Disruptions in Texas

NHA Responds to Electric Grid Disruptions in Texas

Washington, D.C. (February 17, 2021) – Statement from Malcolm Woolf, President and CEO of National Hydropower Association, on the power grid disruptions in Texas that have led to widespread outages.

“Disruptions in the electricity system inevitably prompt various industry groups to point fingers at their competition. However, the situation in Texas this week, like that of California last summer, highlight the need for a diverse electricity mix, not only in terms of fuel source but flexibility. While hydropower does not have a significant presence in Texas, facilities like Buchanan Hydropower Plant in Llano County and the Mansfield Hydropower Plant in Travis County are working overtime to support the electric grid.

“What’s clear is that each local grid needs flexible resources that can respond rapidly to changing conditions, and hydropower does have the potential to play a larger role in Texas. Last year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, along with the departments of the Army, the Interior, and Agriculture identified 16 existing non-powered dams in Texas with the highest potential to add hydropower generation. All told that could add nearly 145 MW of capacity to the grid – flexibility that would prove invaluable to ERCOT during situations such as the one it is facing today.

“Energy storage, particularly long-duration hydropower pumped storage, is increasingly essential, and also should be explored in a meaningful way.

“The events of the last week should be a call to action for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the regional transmission organizations to re-evaluate the market rules to ensure that flexibility and long-duration energy storage are encouraged and properly compensated.”