2011 February Storm Helped El Paso Survive 2021 Winter Storm
For ten years, El Paso Electric has worked to make sure we didn't suffer the way the rest of Texas did during this weekend's winter storm. Back in 2011, El Pasoans suffered rolling blackouts like Austin, Houston, and Dallas, among other Texas cities did, this weekend. Pipes burst, people sat in the dark and hoped that their electricity and heat would come back on during multiple days of below freezing weather.
After that horrible storm and the subsequent loss of electricity because of aging infrastructure, El Paso Electric said they were going to work on making sure that didn't happen again. It would seem that after watching the rolling blackouts that other parts of our state is going through that they succeeded.
A social media post that made the rounds warned that ERCOT was announcing rolling blackouts for the state of Texas. ERCOT stands for Electric Reliability Council of Texas and while it controls about 90% of the state’s electric load, El Paso Electric is not part of the Council. EPE is part of the Western International grid, and they spoke about the changes that have been a decade in the making to a local news station.
In addition to many generators having antifreeze protection, El Paso Electric officials say they have upgraded their equipment to be able to handle minus-10 degree sustained temperatures. During the 2011 freeze, EPE equipment could only hand plus-10 degrees.
For all the complaining I usually do about rising electric rates, I have to commend El Paso Electric for keeping our lights on during the snow storm this past weekend. I will probably give EPE grief when they raise our rates, but I will also give them props for doing the work to keep our homes warm. Good job El Paso Electric!