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Winter Storm 2021

Gov. Greg Abbott wants power companies to “winterize.” Texas’ track record won’t make that easy.

Retroactively equipping power plants to withstand cold temperatures is likely to be very difficult and costly, energy experts say. Building energy infrastructure to perform in winter conditions is easier — and cheaper.

A variety of power lines in Dallas near Greenville Avenue during a winter storm on Feb. 16, 2021. Thousands of Dallas residents have been without power for multiple days.

Winter Storm 2021

As Texas faced record-low temperatures in February 2021 and snow and ice made roads impassable, the state’s electric grid operator lost control of the power supply, leaving millions without access to electricity. As the blackouts extended from hours to days, top state lawmakers called for investigations into the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, and Texans demanded accountability for the disaster. The Texas Tribune covered the impact of the storm in real time and continues to bring accountability coverage as officials address the issues exposed by the storm. 

 More in this series 

Winterizing costly to play catch-up 

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