DENVER (KDVR) – It’s possible, but not probable, that Colorado could experience widespread blackouts for days as millions of people in Texas have, according to energy experts.
About 90% of Texas is on its own independent power grid, the Texas Interconnect. It does not have to abide by many federal energy regulations and does not regularly share power with other states.
“It does make them a little more isolated,” said Dr. Kyri Baker, an assistant professor of building systems engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, who’s also a power grid expert. “(It’s) a little more challenging to balance supply and demand, especially under these extreme conditions.”
Texas is dealing with massive outages for a number of reasons. Some power plants were offline for routine maintenance, others froze and the state’s power companies underestimated supply and demand.
“We have plans in place to cover kind of normal extreme weather conditions. This one is a little beyond our normal extreme weather,” said Electric Reliability Council of Texas’s Dan Woodfin.
CU Boulder’s Baker said it’s unlikely Colorado would experience a similar situation as Texas. But she said it never hurts to conserve energy, just in case.
“Colorado’s grid is pretty interconnected with the neighboring states,” Baker said. “Because of that connection and because we’re much better prepared for winter electricity peaks, we’re not going to experience a lot of the same issues Texas is experiencing, thankfully.