If this is paywalled, a brief explanation.
Texas utilities have gone in big for wind power, getting as much as 42% of base load from turbines. On the face, Texas is well suited for wind power, with open planes and nearly constant wind. And, of course, heavy subsidies.
As we have discussed here, successful use of wind and solar requires dispatchable backup from fossil fuel plants for when conditions are not favorable, and that has proven true in Texas, where heat waves are generally accompanied by still air. So, the Texas grid is set up to fall back on natural gas power plants when wind fails. That worked well in recent heat waves, but the problem is that when it gets really cold, demand for natural gas for direct heating of homes also increases. Decades of environmental challenges to new pipeline capacity have left Texas gas supplies constricted and insufficient for both home heating and power generation. When pipeline pressures fall, the power plants go offline so that pilot lights in homes don’t go out leading to explosions when the pressure is restored.
The result has been a failure of the backup system and widespread outages.
While a typical coal fired plant keeps 90 days worth of fuel stockpiled on site, it is not practical to keep reserve supplies of natural gas, and gas fired plants rely on continuous gas supplies. So, it turns out that we actually need to keep those coal fired plants available, which requires operating them at at least partial capacity on a continuous basis so they are ready to scale up when needed. Sometimes things are more complicated than a bumper sticker can accommodate.
Virginia should plan accordingly, and among other things, resurrect that Mid Atlantic Gas Pipeline that recently was blocked.