Texas has been having rolling power outages since Monday that affect major population centers including Dallas and Houston. The immediate cause is the unusually cold weather in the state, which has increased the demand for power and decreased the supply as some power sources aren’t able to operate in these conditions.
But there are also more systemic issues at play. The Texas power grid is largely operated by a single private company, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas or ERCOT. Moreover, the Texas power grid by design is isolated from the power grids that serve the rest of U.S., which means that Texans can’t draw on energy sources outside of the state.