SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between the San Antonio Business Journal and KSAT.
CPS Energy is calling on state leaders to strengthen its ties with the rest of the U.S. power grid in order to avert another disaster like the one that shut off powers to millions in February.
CEO Paula Gold-Williams told the utility’s board of trustees Monday that it would ‘helpful’ if state officials created connections between Texas’ largest power grid and grids supplying power to other parts of the U.S. The interconnects would help the Lone Star state purchase power from elsewhere should its own power plants fail—as they did during February’s winter storm, leading to wide-scale blackouts.
“We should look at interconnections as an option,” to prevent a future crisis, Gold-Williams said. “It won’t solve everything but it will help.”
Texas’ grid supplies power to 90% of the state, including the cities of San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Houston, and is overseen by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
Though there are already some points where Texas’ grid intersects with both Mexico’s grid and the grid supplying power to the Eastern half of the U.S., the connections are minimal and ERCOT wasn’t able to draw on them to prevent rolling blackouts earlier this year.