Energy & Environment

Granholm calls for Texas grid to weatherize, connect to other grids

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Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Wednesday called for Texas to weatherize its grid and said the state should consider connecting to grids beyond its borders following last month’s winter storm that left millions without power.

“There will be events like this that occur with greater frequency and we have to think about the resilience of the grid,” Granholm said during her first public appearance since being confirmed by the Senate last week.

“I hope that the legislature in Texas provides the ability for the grid to actually be prepared to sustain the kinds of storms that we saw because that will not just be a one-off,” she added.

Granholm also stressed that being more connected to other grids could help the state in both emergencies and to help sell clean energy produced in the state. 

“It would be great for Texas to consider connecting … to its neighbors,” she said. “I understand the go-it-alone sort of ethos, but there’s also an ethos of helping your neighbor too and I think connecting could benefit Texas in times of emergency but it could also benefit Texas and the rest of the country in good times when Texas is generating all sorts of clean energy.” 

Two major energy grids, the Eastern Interconnection and the Western Interconnection, provide power to large swaths of the country, but Texas is on its own, separate grid that has limited connections to the others. 

Granholm made similar comments in a recent interview with NPR.

During her remarks during the CERAWeek energy conference, she also stressed the opportunity for job creation in the transition to clean energy. 

“We want to lead an energy transformation that creates opportunities for diverse union jobs in every sector of this clean energy economy including the building of a clean energy infrastructure … we want to see creating supply chains to strengthen America’s manufacturing sector in hard-hit communities across the Rust Belt,” she said. 

Granholm also said that the Energy Department will offer up “billions of dollars” in investment in new technologies this year. 

As the head of the Energy Department, she’ll be tasked with helping to implement President Biden’s goals of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 and a carbon-free power sector by 2035.

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