ERCOT Blackout 2021

The Timeline and Events of the February 2021 Texas Electric Grid Blackouts

In February 2021, an extreme winter storm event caused a massive electricity generation failure in the state of Texas, which resulted in a loss of power for more than 4.5 million homes. This failure has resulted in at least 57 deaths across 25 Texas counties and over $195 billion in property damage, bringing attention to the energy system crisis and its potential causes. While much press has been dedicated to identifying the entities and individuals potentially at fault, determining exact causes and accurately assigning responsibility for an event this complex requires expert input and opinion. There is a strong public need for reliable information about the fundamental causes of the crisis and for identification of core market design, regulatory, and policy gaps that can be addressed to make the Texas energy system more robust and resilient to such massive shocks in the future.

To address these needs, The University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute convened a diverse expert committee, to offer an unbiased assessment of the data and events of the blackout. This report is not intended to comprehensively address all issues stemming from such a complex event, but may inform subsequent assessments and the public policy debate about how to best design and operate the ERCOT grid. This report does not recommend policies or solutions.

Read the full report.

View author disclosures of potential conflicts of interest.