Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System

Electrical grid is said to be vulnerable to terrorist attack. I can agree that electrical power distribution network would be quite vulnerable if someone tries to sabotage it and knows what to do. I know this because I design software and hardware for control systems for electrical companies.

Some days ago I saw in Finnish television an interesting documentary Suomi polvilleen 15 minuutissa (viewable on Yle Areena at least for Finnish people still for few weeks). It says that in Finland there has been debate on how many weeks the army could protect the country against potential attacks. The document says that the country could collapse in 15 minutes if some outside attacker or a small terrorist group would attack to certain key point in power network. Practically nothing would work anymore without power and it will take quite bit of time to get replacement parts for some key component. There are not too many spare parts and it it take months or a year to build a new big high voltage distribution transformer.

This vulnerability would hold to practically all developed countries. I have understood that Finnish electrical power distribution network would be in pretty good condition compared to electrical power networks on some other countries. I think that in many countries could quite easily cause huge problems by damaging some key points on power distribution network. Those attacks could be either cyber-attacks or attacks or damaging physical infrastructure.

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In USA there has been lots of talk lately about electrical grid vulnerability to terrorist attack. There are warnings like this: Cyber-terrorists could target the U.S. electrical grid and throw the nation into chaos. And there is indeed some truth on those because this critical infrastructure is vital to a country’s economy and security, not a new target for terrorist groups (there have been documented incidents since the 1970s), inherently vulnerable (economical and practical reasons) and extremely hard to protect well. The electric power delivery system that carries electricity from large central generators to customers could be severely damaged by a small number of well-informed attackers. The system is inherently vulnerable because transmission lines may span hundreds of miles. Electrical infrastructure is not necessarily a new target for terrorist groups- there have been documented incidents since the 1970s.

New York Times writes that Terrorists could black out large segments of the United States for weeks or months by attacking the power grid and damaging hard-to-replace components that are crucial to making it work. By blowing up substations or transmission lines with explosives or by firing projectiles at them from a distance, the report said, terrorists could cause cascading failures and damage parts that would take months to repair or replace.

Remember the fact that causing large scale problems for long time is usually hard. In Debunking Theories of a Terrorist Power Grab article a Penn State power-system expert cites laws of physics to pull the plug on worries that a terrorist attack on a minor substation could bring down the entire U.S. electric grid. The most vulnerable points are the ones that have the most energy flowing through them — like huge power stations or highly connected transformers. Those are the ones that should be well protected well and there should not be too much worrying on protecting smaller transformers.

Here are few links to articles for more information:

There is also a free book Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System on-line covering those topics. Check it out if you want to learn more. It gives you much more background than those articles.

358 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What’s The Deal With Rolling Blackouts In California’s Power Grid?
    https://hackaday.com/2020/08/31/rolling-blackouts-in-california-again/

    A heat wave spreading across a large portion of the west coast of the United States is not surprising for this time of year, but the frequency and severity of these heat waves have been getting worse in recent years as the side effects from climate change become more obvious. In response to this, the grid operators in California have instituted limited rolling blackouts as electricity demand ramps up.

    This isn’t California’s first run-in with elective blackouts, either. The electrical grid in California is particularly prone to issues like this, both from engineering issues and from other less obvious problems as well.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Netwalker ransomware hits Pakistan’s largest private power utility
    https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/netwalker-ransomware-hits-pakistans-largest-private-power-utility/
    K-Electric, the sole electricity provider for Karachi, Pakistan, has
    suffered a Netwalker ransomware attack that led to the disruption of
    billing and online services. In a Tor payment page seen by
    BleepingComputer, the ransomware operators demand a $3, 850, 000
    ransom payment. If a ransom is not paid within another seven days, the
    ransom will increase to $7.7 million.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fingrid nostaa valmiutta lähestyvän myrskyn vuoksi
    https://www.fingrid.fi/sivut/ajankohtaista/tiedotteet/2020/fingrid-nostaa-valmiutta-lahestyvan-myrskyn-vuoksi/
    Suomeen ennustetun myrskyn vuoksi kantaverkon häiriönselvitysvalmiutta
    nostetaan keskiviikosta 16.9. klo 16 alkaen. Valmiustilan nosto kestää
    perjantaiaamuun 17.9. klo 7 saakka.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Pitkään kestävä syysmyrsky huolettaa sähköyhtiöitä “Valmiudessa on
    moninkertainen määrä työntekijöitä”
    https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-11547019
    Keski-Pohjanmaalla toimivat sähköyhtiöt ovat nostaneet selvästi
    varautumistaan voimakkaan ja poikkeuksellisen pitkäkestoisen
    syysmyrskyn varalle.

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    FERC, NERC Conduct Study on Cyber Incident Response at Electric Utilities
    https://www.securityweek.com/ferc-nerc-conduct-study-cyber-incident-response-electric-utilities

    The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electricity Reliability Corporation (NERC) last week released a report outlining cyber incident response and recovery best practices for electric utilities.

    The report is based on a study conducted by staff at FERC, NERC and NERC regional entities. The study is based on information provided by experts at eight U.S. electric utilities of various sizes and functions, and its goal was to help the industry improve incident response and incident recovery plans, which authors of the study say help ensure the reliability of the bulk electric system in the event of a cybersecurity incident.

    The study found that there is no best incident response and recovery (IRR) plan model. The IRR plans of the targeted utilities share many similarities — they are based on the same NIST framework (SP 800-61) — but there are also differences, and some organizations have developed separate plans for incidents impacting their operational and business networks.

    https://cms.ferc.gov/sites/default/files/2020-09/FERC%26NERC_CYPRES_Report.pdf

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ask Hackaday: Is Our Power Grid Smart Enough To Know When There’s No Power?
    https://hackaday.com/2020/06/23/ask-hackaday-is-our-power-grid-smart-enough-to-know-when-theres-no-power/

    Just to intensify the feeling of impending zombie apocalypse of the COVID-19 lockdown in the British countryside where I live, we had a power cut. It’s not an uncommon occurrence here at the end of a long rural power distribution network, and being prepared for a power outage is something I wrote about a few years ago. But this one was a bit larger than normal and took out much more than just our village. I feel very sorry for whichever farmer in another village managed to collide with an 11kV distribution pole.

    Prepping For Power Outages
    https://hackaday.com/2017/12/19/prepping-for-power-outages/

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Russian Hackers Playing ‘Chekhov’s Gun’ With US Infrastructure
    Berserk Bear has had plenty of opportunity to cause serious trouble. So why hasn’t it yet?
    https://www.wired.com/story/berserk-bear-russia-infrastructure-hacking/

    Last week the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency published an advisory warning that a group known as Berserk Bear—or alternately Energetic Bear, TEMP.Isotope, and Dragonfly—had carried out a broad hacking campaign against US state, local, territorial, and tribal government agencies, as well aviation sector targets. The hackers breached the networks of at least two of those victims. The news of those intrusions, which was reported earlier last week by the news outlet Cyberscoop, presents the troubling but unconfirmed possibility that Russia may be laying the groundwork to disrupt the 2020 election with its access to election-adjacent local government IT systems.

    In the context of Berserk Bear’s long history of US intrusions, though, it’s much harder to gauge the actual threat it poses. Since as early as 2012, cybersecurity researchers have been shocked to repeatedly find the group’s fingerprints deep inside infrastructure around the globe, from electric distribution utilities to nuclear power plants. Yet those researchers also say they’ve never seen Berserk Bear use that access to cause disruption. The group is a bit like Chekhov’s gun, hanging on the wall without being fired through all of Act I—and foreshadowing an ominous endgame at a critical moment for US democracy.

    “What makes them unique is the fact that they have been so focused on infrastructure throughout their existence, whether it’s mining, oil, and natural gas in different countries or the grid,”

    . (CrowdStrike initially called the hackers Energetic Bear due to the energy sector targeting, but later changed the name to Berserk Bear when the group switched up its tools and infrastructure.) “I

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why Does the U.S. Have Three Electrical Grids?
    A new investigation argues that the politics is delaying electric grid unification
    By Steven Cherry
    https://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/energy/renewables/why-does-the-us-have-three-electrical-grids

    Electricity is hard to store and hard to move, and electrical grids are complex, creaky, and expensive to change. In the early 20teens, Europe began merging its distinct grids into a continent-wide supergrid, an algorithm-based project that IEEE Spectrum wrote about in 2014. The need for a continent-wide supergrid in the U.S. has been almost as great, and by 2018 the planning of one was pretty far long—until it hit a roadblock that, two years later, still stymies any progress. The problem is not the technology, and not even the cost. The problem is political.

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Energiajärjestelmään on tulossa valtavia muutoksia – Tekoälyyn perustuva ennustaminen luo aivan uudenlaisia mahdollisuuksia
    https://studio.kauppalehti.fi/studiovieras/digia-energiajarjestelmaan-on-tulossa-valtavia-muutoksia-tekoalyyn-perustuva-ennustaminen-luo-aivan-uudenlaisia-mahdollisuuksia
    Moni ei ole vielä oivaltanut, miten valtavia muutoksia Suomenkin energiajärjestelmään ja sen taloudellisiin malleihin on tulossa. Tekoälyyn perustuva ennustaminen nousee todennäköisesti tärkeään rooliin älykkäässä energiajärjestelmässä. Voimatel aloitti ennustemallien kehitystyön Digian kanssa nopealla toimintamallilla.

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why Does the U.S. Have Three Electrical Grids?
    A new investigation argues that the politics is delaying electric grid unification
    https://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/energy/renewables/why-does-the-us-have-three-electrical-grids

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Major Power Outage in India Possibly Caused by Hackers: Reports
    https://www.securityweek.com/major-power-outage-india-possibly-caused-hackers-reports
    Authorities in India determined that a major power outage that occurred last month in Mumbai, the country’s largest
    city, may have been caused by hackers, according to reports.
    The outage occurred in mid-October and it impacted the Mumbai metropolitan area, causing significant disruption to
    traffic management systems and trains. It took two hours to restore power just for essential services, and up to 12
    hours to restore power in some of the affected areas.

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    SOLARWINDS HACK INFECTED CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE, INCLUDING POWER INDUSTRY
    https://interc.pt/3mP8Tuy

    The companies involved used compromised software, but it’s not clear if hackers entered their networks. Finding out could be difficult

    THE HACKING CAMPAIGN that infected numerous government agencies and tech companies with malicious SolarWinds software has also infected more than a dozen critical infrastructure companies in the electric, oil, and manufacturing industries who were also running the software, according to a security firm conducting investigations of some of the breaches.

    In addition to the critical infrastructure companies, the SolarWinds software also infected three firms that provide services for such companies, says Rob Lee, CEO of Dragos, Inc., which specializes in industrial control system security and discovered some of the infections.

    The service companies are known within the industry as original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs. They sometimes have remote access to critical parts of customer networks, as well as privileges that let them make changes to those networks, install new software, or even control critical operations. This means that hackers who breached the OEMs could potentially use their credentials to control critical customer processes.

    “If an OEM has access to a network, and it’s bi-directional, it’s usually for more sensitive equipment like turbine control, and you could actually do disruptive actions,” Lee told The Intercept. “But just because you have access doesn’t mean you know what to do or how to do it. It doesn’t mean they can then flip off the lights; they have to do more after that.”

    There is currently no evidence, however, that the hackers used the backdoor in the SolarWinds software to gain access into the 15 electric, oil, gas, and manufacturing entities that were infected with the software. But Lee notes that it may not be possible to uncover such activity if the attackers did access them and burrow further into the industrial control networks, because critical infrastructure entities generally don’t do extensive logging and monitoring of their control system networks.

    “In these ICS networks, most organizations don’t have the data and visibility to actually look for the breach,” says Lee. “So they might determine if they are compromised, but … almost none of them have network logs to … determine if there is follow-on activity [in their network].”

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    SOLARWINDS HACK INFECTED CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE, INCLUDING POWER INDUSTRY
    The companies involved used compromised software, but it’s not clear if hackers entered their networks. Finding out could be difficult

    https://theintercept.com/2020/12/24/solarwinds-hack-power-infrastructure/

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Day the Sun Brought Darkness
    https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/sun_darkness.html

    How We’ll Safeguard Earth From a Solar Storm Catastrophe
    https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/amp/ncna760021

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Texas Gov. Abbott Faces Criticism As Millions Of Texans Go Without Power
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlieporterfield/2021/02/15/texas-gov-abbott-faces-criticism-as-millions-of-texans-go-without-power/?utm_campaign=forbes&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_term=Gordie

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is facing heat from local Democrats as more than 2 million Texas households struggle without power after a snowstorm knocked out many of the state’s electricity generation plants, causing blackouts officials say could last for another day.

    The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which handles 90% of the state’s electric load for 26 million Texans,began instituting rolling blackouts just before 1:30 a.m. in a bid to conserve energy as temperatures fell below zero in some parts of Texas, but many residents in Houston, Austin and surrounding areas found themselves without power well into Monday afternoon.

    “If Abbott cared more about doing his job than trying to scare oil and gas workers into voting for him, Texas should have been able to avoid this crisis,” Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement Monday. “There is no reason at all that Texas—a state that produces the most energy in the country—has millions of people without power.”

    Fossil fuel advocates seized on reports that frozen wind turbines were partially to blame for the state’s outages, but some experts fired back that far greater conventional and nuclear generating capacity had been knocked offline, pointing to the need for system-wide updates to handle extreme weather conditions.

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Winter Storm Live Updates: Texas Gov. Calls For Emergency Reform Of Power Grid As Power Supply Starts ‘Improving’
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicholasreimann/2021/02/16/winter-storm-live-updates-texas-gov-calls-for-emergency-reform-of-power-grid-as-power-supply-starts-improving/?utm_campaign=forbes&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_term=Gordie&sh=27aa72d2692b

    The massive winter storm that’s rocked most of the U.S. population over the past few days has brought historic cold along with the ice and snow, shattering record lows in Southern and Plains cities and knocking out power generation plants, leaving millions without access to power or heat.

    Reply
  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    At least two people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning while trying to stay warm amid widespread power outages.

    Texas’ Harris County Sees More Than 300 Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Cases Amid Power Outages
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jemimamcevoy/2021/02/16/texas-harris-county-sees-more-than-200-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-cases-amid-power-outages/?utm_campaign=forbes&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_term=Gordie

    Harris County, Texas, has seen more than 300 carbon monoxide poisoning cases as some turn to dangerous heat sources while the state battles record low temperatures and widespread power outages, The Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday afternoon.

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    U.S. Winter Storm Leaves At Least 20 Dead, More Than 3 Million Houses Still Without Power
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/siladityaray/2021/02/17/us-winter-storm-leaves-at-least-20-dead-more-than-3-million-houses-still-without-power/?utm_campaign=forbes&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_term=Gordie

    More than three million people were left without power and at least 20 have lost their lives as a severe winter storm continues to wreak havoc across the United States, leaving major cities immobilized and impacting the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine while the governor of the worst-hit state, Texas, faced criticism for attempting to deflect blame on others.

    At present, around 2.9 million households in Texas remain without power and nationwide that number is above 3 million including badly-hit Oregon, Kentucky and West Virginia, according to Power Outage US, a tracker that aggregates data on power cuts.

    The winter storm known as Uri first hit the Pacific Northwest region late on Friday, causing heavy snowfall and ice in Washington and Oregon. The storm then moved southeast, hitting New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The inclement weather forced dozens of natural gas and coal plants to go offline and wind turbines froze, causing a massive shortage of power in the state. In response to the issue, Abbott has requested the state legislature to take up an emergency item to reform the Energy Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)—the state’s electric grid. Texas is the only state in the contiguous United States with its own electrical grid—ERCOT—while only two other grids, the Eastern Interconnection and the Western Interconnection, serve the rest of the lower 48 states.

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    White House Providing Emergency Generators, Diesel And Water To Texas Amid Power Outages
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jemimamcevoy/2021/02/17/white-house-providing-emergency-generators-diesel-and-water-to-texas-amid-power-outages/?utm_campaign=forbes&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_term=Gordie

    The Biden administration said Wednesday that it has delivered emergency generators to Texas and is preparing to send other supplies—like diesel, water and blankets—as the state continues to suffer from widespread power outages amid freezing temperatures.

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    15 Million Without Power in Texas
    The power crisis that has knocked out power to millions of homes and businesses in Texas and across the central U.S. for days is getting worse, not better. Tim Stenovec reports on Bloomberg Quicktake “Take Charge”. (Source: Bloomberg)
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2021-02-17/15-million-without-power-in-texas-video

    Reply
  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Millions in Texas suffer through a third day without power as grid falters in winter storm
    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/17/energy-prices-climb-again-as-deep-freeze-holds-grip-on-the-south.html

    A deadly snow and ice storm is wreaking havoc across Texas, leaving millions in the state without power for a third straight day.
    These outages have pushed oil prices higher as production slows to a crawl.
    With “oil wells and refineries offline, we could be facing a significant shortfall for a number of days, further tightening supply at a time when it has already been,” wrote one market analyst

    Millions in Texas shivered through power outages for a third day Wednesday as the deadly storm that brought snow and ice to the region wreaked havoc to the state’s energy infrastructure.

    An estimated 3 million barrels per day of oil production remained offline. Power production from natural gas, coal, renewables and other sources has been impacted as consumers turn up their thermostats amid the frigid temperatures.

    “A significant amount of capacity remains offline,” noted Morris Greenberg, senior manager at S&P Global Platts Analytics.

    With “oil wells and refineries offline, we could be facing a significant shortfall for a number of days, further tightening supply at a time when it has already been restricted and demand is expected to return,” wrote Craig Erlam senior market analyst at Oanda.

    Wholesale power prices in Texas have surged as contractual obligations forced companies to buy at any price.

    “Real-time power prices in Texas hit the $9,000/[megawatt hour] mark multiple times across the state, with day-ahead on-peak prices averaging more than $7,000/MWh in all four zones in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas region,” Citi analysts wrote in a note. The normal price would be around $70/MWh.

    The unusually harsh winter storms left more than 3 million in Texas without power, along with nearly 100,000 in Kentucky and more than 70,000 in West Virginia, according to PowerOutage.us.

    Reply
  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Texasin pakkasessa tuulivoimaroottoreita sulatetaan ruiskuttamalla glykolia helikopterista – Suomessa sama asia hoidetaan vastuksilla, eivätkä hiilikasatkaan täällä jäädy
    https://www.talouselama.fi/uutiset/texasin-pakkasessa-tuulivoimaroottoreita-sulatetaan-ruiskuttamalla-glysolia-helikopterista-suomessa-sama-asia-hoidetaan-vastuksilla-eivatka-hiilikasatkaan-taalla-jaady/03754fb7-9cf4-46a9-b1cb-6bbda418b9e4

    Ääritalvi iski Texasiin, jonka sähköntuotanto osoittautui pakkasessa hyvin haavoittuvaksi: Kaasuvoimaloiden putket jäätyivät, samoin tuulivoimaloiden roottorit ja hiilivoimaloiden kasat. Suomi pärjää talvisissa ääriolosuhteissa hyvin, mutta Saharan kesä voisi olla täällä koettelemus.

    Reply
  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Texas grid was ‘minutes’ from failing, lawmaker says
    https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/17/weather/texas-winter-storm-wednesday/index.html

    A winter storm and lengthy cold snap have crippled power facilities in Texas and caused about 2.3 million outages as of Wednesday evening, leaving residents in the cold and dark for several days.

    The lack of power to about a quarter of the state has created a widespread emergency, with families huddling in homes or cars without heat, burst water pipes, failing water systems and gasoline shortages.

    “We got power for four hours and then it went off again and it stayed off for a few hours, came back for like two hours then went away,” she said Wednesday morning. “It’s currently off.”

    an industry executive that the power grid was just minutes from failing on Monday before state agency officials initiated emergency rolling outages.

    “I want people to know that we were minutes away from the entire grid crashing,” he told CNN’s Ed Lavandera, criticizing ERCOT and Republican leaders for not better preparing for the freeze.
    “They certainly could have taken some precautions that would have prevented what we’re having to deal with now,” Veasey said.

    “If we had waited, and not done outages, not reduced demand to reflect what was going on, on the overall system, we could have drifted towards a blackout,” he said. “People feel like what we’re seeing feels like a blackout, but the blackout that can occur if you don’t keep the supply and demand in balance could last months.”

    The power issues are likely to continue, especially given that the cold temperatures will last for another day or two. Over 21 million people, or nearly 70% of Texas’s population, are currently under some sort of winter weather alert.

    “We have power for about 30 or 15 minutes and then we get a blackout for about five to six hours,”

    Abbott said a news conference Wednesday that 6,000 megawatts have been added to the state’s grid — enough power for about 1.2 million households.

    About 17,200 megawatts of renewable generated power remain out on Wednesday afternoon, due to “freezing of the wind, or because of lack of sun for the solar,” Abbott said.

    The widespread outages stem from a weather disaster coupled with an unprepared infrastructure.
    A winter weather system brought unusually frigid temperatures to much of the central US over the past few days, including in Texas, the country’s energy leader. The deep freeze caused demand for power and heating to skyrocket even as it knocked out the state’s natural gas, coal, wind and nuclear facilities, which were not ready to function in such cold weather.

    The lack of winter preparedness has long been an issue for ERCOT’s power system. About 10 years ago, a bitter cold snap caused over 3.2 million ERCOT customers to lose power during Super Bowl week. A 350-page federal report on the outages (PDF) found that the power generators’ winterization procedures were “either inadequate or were not adequately followed.”

    “When it comes to electricity, what happens in Texas stays in Texas,” said Dan Cohan, associate professor of environmental engineering at Rice University. “That has really come back to bite us.”

    https://www.ferc.gov/sites/default/files/2020-04/08-16-11-report.pdf

    Reply
  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Texas Power Grid Was ‘Seconds Or Minutes’ Away From Complete Failure Leaving Whole State Dark, ERCOT Says
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicholasreimann/2021/02/18/texas-power-grid-was-seconds-or-minutes-away-from-complete-failure-leaving-whole-state-dark-ercot-says/?utm_campaign=forbes&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_term=Gordie

    The Texas power grid was just “seconds or minutes” away from a catastrophic and complete failure earlier this week, officials with ERCOT said during a briefing Thursday, adding that widespread rolling blackouts may have saved the state from going completely dark.

    The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s electrical grid, started instituting rolling blackouts Sunday night after a massive winter storm and record cold temperatures froze major power supplies, mainly coal and natural gas generators.

    The blackouts at times meant more than 35% of Texans went without electricity, the primary source of heat in the region, during the record-breaking cold.

    But that apparently was just enough to stop a total blackout, which ERCOT CEO Bill Magness said Tuesday would have left almost the entire state of Texas without power for “an indeterminate amount of time,” possibly a month.

    ERCOT announced Thursday it was ending the rolling blackouts, but may need to restart them “over the next couple of days to keep the grid stable.”

    447,086. That’s how many Texans remained without power early Thursday afternoon, according to poweroutage.us. That’s a significant decrease from the more than 4 million without electricity at the height of the blackouts.

    Reply
  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Texas Frozen Chaos Becomes Global Oil Market Nightmare With 40% Of US Crude Production Offline
    https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/texas-frozen-chaos-becomes-global-oil-market-nightmare-40-us-crude-production-offline

    we warned that the ripple effects of the freezing vortex-induced calamity, which led to near record-low temperatures across the plains states, would ripple far and wide sparking logistical and commodity shockwaves not only in Texas and the continental US, but also around the world. Sure enough, just a few days later, Texas has been hit by a humanitarian crisis the likes of which it has never before seen with millions of people without electricity and increasingly without running water.

    And even though Texas is doing everything in its power to contain the fallout that, it appears that the crisis is now spreading, because as a result of the persistent freeze and rampant “force majeueres” across the industry, more than 4 million barrels a day of output – almost 40% of the nation’s crude production – is now offline, Bloomberg reports citing traders and executives.

    “The market is underestimating the amount of oil production lost in Texas due to the bad weather,”

    “The weather is having an unbelievable impact on global supply and demand,”

    Reply
  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Is Texas Facing A Humanitarian Crisis?
    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/texas-facing-humanitarian-crisis

    Up to 15 million Texans remain without heat and electricity as temperatures across the state are well below freezing. Another round of winter weather is battering parts of the state Wednesday morning, as many Texans have been without electricity since Sunday are desperately scrambling to find shelters. Weather-related deaths have already been reported as one of the nation’s wealthiest states can barely supply electricity to its residents. And some of those residents have written to us to share their painful realities…

    Reply
  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    WINTER STORM 2021
    Texas was “seconds and minutes” away from catastrophic monthslong blackouts, officials say
    https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/18/texas-power-outages-ercot/?utm_campaign=trib-social-buttons&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

    Officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said that grid operators implemented blackouts to avoid a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months

    Reply
  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Yes, most of Texas’ power supply is connected to a grid entirely within state lines. It is one of three power grids in the country: a western power grid, an eastern power grid and the Texas grid.

    That means the connections Texas has to other grids is limited, which in turn limits the amount of power that can be transferred from other grids to Texas and vice versa.

    https://www.wfaa.com/amp/article/news/verify/texas-independent-power-grid/507-6192cf48-4bf4-4a82-8586-0e5c0a549707

    Reply
  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ford asks dealers to loan new F-150s to Texans to power homes amid historic cold
    https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/ford-asks-dealers-to-loan-new-f-150s-to-texans-to-power-homes-amid-historic-cold?utm_campaign=trueAnthem_manual&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=facebook

    DEARBORN, Mich. – Texans trapped in some of the coldest temperatures to ever hit the state have resulted in some out-of-box solutions for keeping warm and powering appliances.

    As it turns out, Ford’s new F-150 model that’s equipped with an onboard power source can be used for more than just powering electric tools from a toolbox.

    That solution was codified into an impromptu request from the company that asked dealerships in the state to loan out its F-150s to other Texans in need of respite from the arctic air plaguing the state.

    On Wednesday, a blog dedicated to Ford’s flagship truck posted a photo of an extension cord plugged into the interior wall of an F-150 pickup bed.

    “Easy to use, just turn it on and forget it.

    According to a media release from Ford, the 2021 model’s Pro Power Onboard feature has enough power ot run 28 refrigerators, charge a bed full of electric dirt bikes, or run an entire job site worth of tools. 

    Reply
  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    $17,000 Electric Bill? A Deregulated Power Grid Leads To Wild Prices For Texans
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanponciano/2021/02/20/17000-electric-bill-deregulated-power-grid-texas-griddy/

    The downside of an independent energy market left millions of Texans without power for days and are now spooking some residents with five-figure energy bills, as Texas lawmakers look to investigate the failures of the nation’s only state-operated power grid.

    Reply
  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wärtsilän kuusi voimalaa tekevät Texasille nyt sähköä minkä pystyvät – ”Ne on rakennettu toimimaan myös pakkasessa”
    Petri Koskinen19.2.202110:28ENERGIAKAASU
    Wärtsilän voimalat jauhavat Texasissa sähköä tauotta, mutta työntekijät värjöttelevät kodeissaan kaasulla käyvien koristetakkojen äärellä.
    https://www.tekniikkatalous.fi/uutiset/wartsilan-kuusi-voimalaa-tekevat-texasille-nyt-sahkoa-minka-pystyvat-ne-on-rakennettu-toimimaan-myos-pakkasessa/053903b2-194c-4e6e-b1c1-8331f03edcfa

    Reply
  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Numerous Texas residents reported receiving five-figure electric bills despite not having power during the storm.

    ‘They’re Not Responsible’: Texas Officials Say Residents Shouldn’t Have To Pay ‘Exorbitant’ Electric Bills After Storm
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jemimamcevoy/2021/02/21/theyre-not-responsible-texas-officials-say-residents-shouldnt-have-to-pay-exorbitant-electric-bills-after-storm/?utm_campaign=forbes&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_term=Gordie

    Texas officials from both sides of the aisle are pushing for swift solutions from the state after numerous residents said they received massive electric bills despite spending days without power amid the winter storm this week. 

    Texans reported facing energy bills as high as $17,000 in the storm’s aftermath following the Monday order from the state’s Public Utility Commission that electric grid operator ERCOT raise its prices to meet supply constraints resulting from the weather.

    Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) argued that the state should reckon with the financial consequences of the energy price hike, which reached the limit of $9,000 per megawatt hour for about five days (180 times the average hourly rate before the storm), not the customers. 

    “All of what happened this past week was foreseeable and preventable,” Turner said during a Sunday morning interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation,” calling on Texas to dip into its “rainy day” fund to help residents: “Those exorbitant costs should be borne by the state of Texas and not the individual customers who did not cause this catastrophe this week.” 

    Reply
  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    After spending the majority of the week with millions of outages, Texas was overtaken by Mississippi as the state with the most power outages on Sunday, according to PowerOutage.US, Just 34,073 Texas customers were lacking power as of Sunday afternoon, versus 34,369 in Mississippi. 

    Reply
  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Running a fake power plant on the internet for a month
    https://grimminck.medium.com/running-a-fake-power-plant-on-the-internet-for-a-month-4a624f685aaa

    People think of the internet as a host for services like banking websites, blogs and social networks. However, this is only a small part of everything connected. The internet is home to a big range of IoT systems and machines as well. These vary from simple “smart” light switches, to machinery used in industrial plants.

    Reply

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