At a state Senate hearing this morning on Texas's rolling blackouts earlier this month, ERCOT released the first list — albeit a very partial one — of power plants that failed during the Feb. 2 crisis.Full Story
Kate Galbraith has covered energy and environment for the Tribune since 2010. Previously she reported on clean energy for The New York Times from 2008 to 2009, serving as the lead writer for the Times' Green blog. She began her career at The Economist in 2000 and spent 2005 to 2007 in Austin as the magazine's Southwest correspondent. A Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University from 2007 to 2008, she has an undergraduate degree in English from Harvard and a master's degree from the London School of Economics. She is co-author of The Great Texas Wind Rush, a book about how the oil and gas state won the race to wind power.
The Texas electric grid operator is facing questions on a range of fronts, including its policy of not disclosing information about the power grid's day-to-day operations and its inability to ensure adequate weatherization of power plants.Full Story
The vast majority of the state's wind turbines have gone up in West Texas. But several big wind farms have recently begun operating in the general vicinity of Corpus Christi, and more coastal projects are likely on the way — to the distress of bird-lovers and the military.Full Story
El Pasoans are not supposed to shower today. Or wash dishes, or do the laundry. The city is in the third day of a severe water shortage, which was partly caused by last week's rolling blackouts. Restrictions may be lifted tonight.Full Story
An audio interview with Trip Doggett, president and chief executive of the Texas grid operator, ERCOTFull Story
The chief executive of the Texas electric grid operator discusses what caused the rolling blackouts across the state on Wednesday — and why he doesn't know if he lost power in his own home.Full Story
The chief executive of ERCOT, the Texas grid operator, said that "extremely cold" temperatures and windy conditions caused valves, pipes and other equipment in some power plants to fail.Full Story
What happened yesterday to cause the rolling power blackouts across Texas? A chain reaction of problems involving the state's coal and gas appeared to be the cause — and wind plants were having trouble, too.Full Story
No secession ball will mark the day. But 150 years ago today, on Feb. 1, 1861, a state convention voted overwhelmingly to secede from the Union, against the fervent wishes of Gov. Sam Houston. Caught in the mess was one Robert E. Lee, a federal officer in what had become a rebel state.Full Story
A slideshow of Bill Neiman's seed-cleaning facility near Junction.Full Story
From the highways of Texas to the San Jacinto Battleground, state agencies now aim to maximize the use of native grasses rather than opting for whatever was cheapest or fastest-growing, as they did decades ago.Full Story
When Texans turn on lights or plug in iPads, they are getting an increasing amount of power from the wind — and from coal plants. Last year, nearly 8 percent of the power on the state's electric grid was generated by wind, far above the national average. And coal plants produced more power than any other electricity source. The big loser was natural gas.
At the heart of Texas' wind-power boom lies a conundrum: Plenty of ranchers are eager to host wind turbines but few want to allow the unsightly high-voltage transmission lines needed to carry the power to distant cities. But state regulators are moving forward — and yesterday they approved a contentious project that runs through the Hill Country.Full Story
The politics and rhetoric of the Environmental Protection Agency's multi-front battle with Texas make for a grand spectacle. Behind the scenes, however, there are signs that big industrial plants are trying to move past the stalemate on their own, talking with federal regulators and, in some cases, preparing to meet the demands of the agency.Full Story