How Texas’ extreme weather event has exposed the importance of renewable energy sources to bolster the resiliency of electric grids



As the electrons begin to settle after Texas’s power outage crisis, our collective thoughts at GPM go out to Texans recovering from the strongest winter-storm the state has seen in a hundred years. The recent unprecedented events have shined a spotlight on the importance of developing reliable and resilient hybrid energy infrastructure to operate in extreme weather events and a changing climate. It also highlighted the benefits of a robust asset monitoring solution.

According to ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas), during the severe winter-storm between 14 and 19 of February 2021, over 20GW of traditional power plant generators across the state experienced failures leading to a drastic decrease in energy production. Additionally, the storm also negatively affected wind turbines and renewable energy sources (15GW), compounding problems for Texas’s electricity grid.

Based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the proportion of electricity produced locally in Texas by wind power grew from 10 to 25% in ten years. During the winter-storm induced power outages, over half of wind farms in Texas experienced outages or derating.

Using GPM Horizon, a monitoring and asset management solution, wind farm operators were able to review active alerts and live data across their entire fleet of assets in Texas. Using customizable alerts and some deductive reasoning, wind farm operators made a change to turbine settings allowing weather affected machines to continue to operate safely. In doing so, more electricity was produced and delivered to Texan homes during the severe winter storm. GPM Horizon provided an essential element to allow operators to effectively run their plants in the most extreme conditions.

To monitor wind assets, GreenPowerMonitor, a DNV Company, is providing GPM Horizon, an online multi-technology asset management platform for mixed renewable portfolios: Wind, Solar and Storage. It offers technical monitoring, customized KPIs, financial performance analytics and a fully flexible reporting module. Combined with DNV’s WindGEMINI analytics engine, GPM Horizon’s capabilities are unmatched in industry.

“I am thrilled to know the talented operators using GPM Horizon helped to power people’s homes during this emergency in part by using GPM solutions. February’s winter storm in Texas exposed many opportunities for improvement. Renewable energy sources will be critical in bolstering the resiliency of our electric grids.” ~ Peter Kobliska, VP of Business Development at GreenPowerMonitor.

Based on DNV’s Energy Transition Outlook, variable renewable energy will deliver over 60% of global power mix in 2050, half from wind and half from solar PV. The present fossil-heavy power mix will undergo a dramatic change and be dominated by renewables by 2050. To date, GPM has provided software and hardware solutions to over 42.2GW of renewable energy assets worldwide. Such a large share of renewables will need increased connectivity, storage, and demand-response, all of which will increase grid investments. Over the next 30 years, USD 20trn will be invested in grids globally. Download the full report here.



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