What Impact Will the 2021 Texas Winter Storm Leave Behind?
Sol-Ark, a veteran-owned company, is on a mission to offer affordable energy independence for family homes and business by building solar, hybrid, battery-based system that boosts renewable energy efforts.
That makes Founders Tom Brennan and Bhawna Oberoi uniquely qualified to look back at the recent winter storm that struck Texas, leaving millions without power in its wake and exposing serious inequities and shortcomings in the state’s power grid.
“One of the things that Sol-Ark brings to the market is that, right now, have solar – but they were never told that, when the power goes out, they won’t have any storage,” Oberoi said. “What Sol-Ark makes possible … is to retrofit [existing systems].”
This makes life simpler for both installers and building owners who wish to install the system, themselves – installation is simple, and it allows for those looking for a way to store their energy an easier journey toward greater control over their energy.
Such solutions could help avoid catastrophic failure like that experienced during the recent storm, which impacted many states in addition to Texas.
“Basically, the renewable people were blaming fossil fuel generators, and the fossil fuel generators were blaming the wind and the solar guys,” Brennan said. “Texas’s grid can generate as much as 74 gigawatts of energy, and we get close to that in the summertime and deep wintertime. … During this crisis, where temperatures hit [maybe 80-year extremes], about 93% of wind failed because the wind turbines were frozen up.”
However, about a third of coal-powered plants and another third of natural gas-powered plants went down, as well. In total, only about 45 gigawatts of power were available.
Had energy storage infrastructure been more widespread, that extreme downturn could have been mitigated.
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