Summer heats are raising concerns over Texas citizens, and Austin Energy, one of the state’s utilities, is getting ready for a possible extreme weather situation in the coming months; as the company and the state’s grid still struggles with the bad memories from the cold snap.
Firstly, a news story by the KXAN news media, interviews Austin residents; the state that over the last few months they have been experiencing power outages; specially since winter storm Uri.
Secondly, they argue that they have experienced constant black outs; at least half a dozen in the past months. These constant outages are increasing fears and removing bad memories. “There’s some post-traumatic stress-type things, and I know that there’s probably plenty of other people that are having deeper concerns.” Said one of the interviewees.
Thirdly, concerns are basically due to the high number of families with little kids, and elder people; people who are living and breathing through ventilators. For them, power supply is not only crucial, but might separate life from death.
However, according to KXAN, Austin Energy crosschecked the dates from the outages, and said they had nothing to do with winter storm Uri; rather, they were due to birds, cars crashing under power lines, squirrels or broken cables.
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Austin Energy gets ready with weatherization measures
In addition, a spokesperson for Austin Energy, said it like this. “Unfortunately, outages caused by things outside our control such as lighting, car crashes, birds and squirrels will always occur.” She assured that systemic issues in infrastructure are no longer affecting the area.
Consequently, the power utility is getting ready to face dramatic heats during the coming summer season. “The majority of the year, we weatherize to ensure our plants can withstand extreme hot weather.” The company says.
Moreover, they outlined a number of measures. Those are: insulation on piping, cabinets or metal structures around areas determined as concerns from past weather events; also, heat Trace, through electrical heating systems on critical components; also, removing any wind breaks; and thermal blankets applied to critical components for winter weather.
Furthermore, the company will upsize its crews for maintenance from current 38 crews, to 58 crews.
Finally, the company underlines. “By the end of the calendar year, Austin Energy expects to finish pruning the 10 circuits at highest wildfire risk in our service area.”