The nation’s energy infrastructure succumbed to enormous stress as extreme winter weather gripped the US in mid-February. According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, power disruptions impacted energy customers in Texas, Louisiana, Oregon, and Virginia. Texas was hit particularly hard as millions of people were left without power for days.
Electric generation assets were severely hampered during the weather event. Frozen cooling towers, frozen natural gas lines, and frozen wind turbines were contributing factors. Electricity demand forecasts also played a role in the crisis. The net effect was strained electricity generation during a period of increased customer demand, leading experts to question the resiliency, redundancy, and diversification of US energy infrastructure.