At some point, “winterizing for abnormal conditions” is just wasted money. One might be (reasonably) laughed off the floor for suggesting that, say, Panama City winterize their power grid for below freezing conditions. Their lowest recorded temperature is 68F (20C).
How that works in Texas, well… we’re seeing the problems. Non-winterized natural gas systems are fine, right up until you really need it. Then it falls over. Every decade or two.
I’m also seeing a good bit of criticism of the “People on Griddy got $10k power bills” news articles doing the rounds lately. Griddy is literally the only power provider in Texas to pass wholesale power rates directly through to customers, and while I understand the appeal, they offer the sort of “limited upside, (nearly) unlimited downside” characteristics that stock shorting does. It works great, until it bites you in the rear and lights your rear end on fire.
If this whole thing with the $9000/MWh cap was news to you, you shouldn’t have been on that provider in the first place. It’s the sort of provider that someone like me, if I’d built out 100kWh of lead acid storage, with a propane tank and big backup generator, might use. With a live power price display in the house and pricing-aware appliances. In other words, it probably shouldn’t be a thing in the first place. On the other hand, if I’d built out my original system design in Texas and was on that sort of system, I would have cut all house loads, lit up the generator, attached every bit of power generation capability I had, and been exporting as much as I could at $9/kWh (at least until the grid segment went down). They even call this out on their website.
- Become a net generator when prices spike and get paid up to $9.00/kWh
One of things we hate the most here at Griddy is when prices spike. However, with solar on your roof, you actually might welcome those spikes, as you can export to the grid and get paid that very high market price in the form of an energy credit. So when prices spike, you can either keep using electricity knowing that your solar is providing you with free electricity or you can turn off as much as you can, export it to the grid and have that one $9.00 hour pay for hundreds of hours of free electricity for you in the future as you bank that electricity credit.
The only way to get that market value for your solar generation is through wholesale, like with Griddy. Other electricity providers will use net metering to simply give you a kWh credit. But with Griddy, that one spike per kilowatt hour can be worth hundreds of kilowatt hours.
But… as much as it pains me to admit, if something really appeals to me for some weird niche corner case optimization, it probably shouldn’t be offered as a general option for people.
But 10kWh of export, 3 days, at $9/kWh (again, assuming the grid was up), would have turned a tidy $6500, and even after propane/diesel/gasoline costs, still would have been a sold whomp of profit for the year. Just, most people aren’t set up for that sort of thing.