Texas internet connectivity declining due to blackouts

Sean Donelan sean at donelan.com
Tue Feb 16 13:01:34 UTC 2021

On Tue, 16 Feb 2021, Rod Beck wrote:
> Are the power lines buried like in Europe where I live?

Rolling blackouts in Texas (or elsewhere) are not caused by storm damage.

Rolling blackouts are administrative actions (turn off power, turn on 
power) taken by the system operator.  They can "turn on" the power after a 
rolling blackout with a switch because there is no damage to the outside 

In California, they use rolling blackouts BEFORE wildfires to prevent 
power line sparking causing wildfires. Not because of damage to the 
outside plant. In Texas, they use rolling blackouts because they didn't 
have enough generation capacity online.

Again, the rolling blackouts in Texas is not due to storm damage.  Its 
because natural gas power generator plants froze, and Texas is an 
separate electric grid from the rest of North America due to political 
reasons. That's why the rolling blackouts stop at the Texas border 

Chicago Illinois (3rd largest metro area) power plants haven't frozen, and 
can use power from states across the north-central US grid.

Most of Texas is rural and cheap. Power lines are built above ground. 
Only in a few dense urban areas, i.e. downtown Dallas or downtown 
Houston, are power lines underground for aesthetic reasons.

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