As if recent weather-related news in and near Texas wasn’t chaotic already, three tornadoes ripped through Dallas last week. Ten overall tornadoes were formed because of the storms that stretched across North Texas. These tornadoes left behind devastated stretches of land and also determined meteorologists who are still trying to piece together the path of the tornado, as well as the overall breadth of the damage.
Fortunately though, no one died despite the cluster of tornadoes. One of which reached winds up to 140 MPH, according to Dallas News. Texas Governor Greg Abbot declared a state of emergency as a result of the storms. At current estimates, there were about 2 billion dollars in damages, making it the “costliest tornado in Texas history.” Storms also hit Oklahoma and Arkansas, leaving fatalities and a lot of structural damage as well.
The question on the minds of many meteorologists and citizens is: is climate change to blame for the crazy weather? Given that the summer was unusually hot and conducive for tornadoes, it’s hard to count out the normal fluctuations of climate. Measuring the incidence of major storms, like these most recent ones, will have to be stretched out longer over years; but, in the context of “New Green Deals” and increased renewable energy efforts, it seems safe to say that climate has had something to do with it.
Power Outages in Texas? Meet Microgrids
According to Bloomberg, more than 200,000 citizens lost power as a result of the storms. This is similar but smaller than the recent outages in California because of the wildfires. Out of those numbers, around 99,000-112,00 Texans who were served by Oncor in Dallas, lost power.
There was an interesting twist to the story though as a few stores still had backup power despite 140,000 (according to Microgrid Knowledge) being powerless within the Dallas area. And, as you guessed it, these stores had microgrids in place, just in case of a disaster comparable to the tornadoes.
The two stores are H-E-B and Buc-ee’s and they both used gas-powered microgrids-a welcome endorsement of the technology if there ever was one.
As Texas, California, and the rest of the country experiences more extreme weather, the attention will continue to be placed on what can be done to offer more grid flexibility and to subvert downed transmission lines.
It’s only a matter of time until there’s a wide scale adoption of the technology given that Buc-ee’s was able to provide power to first responders who needed the electricity. At the very least, all hospitals and emergency stations within the hot zone for tornadoes and extreme weather will be equipped with backup energy via microgrids.