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Cold temperatures bring wind power to a halt

If you’ve driven by Lake Lawtonka in the last few days you may have noticed the cold weather has stopped the wind turbines in the area.

“They are large machines. These brutal temperatures, whether it’s starting your truck in the morning or operating a wind facility, it is very, very difficult in these brutally cold temperatures. We’re also seeing that, it’s not just wind turbines. It’s natural gas, it’s frozen wellheads, it’s valves, it’s pipelines, this is incredible what we’re seeing here,” said Mark Yates, Vice President of Advanced Power Alliance.

Yates said with the widespread energy problems we’re experiencing right now, people are rightfully looking for answers.

“The truth is, there’s not a fuel type, there’s not an energy source that is spared criticism on this event. We have all of these resources, we need all of these resources, to meet the demands of something historic like this. I think we’re going to learn a lot of lessons going forward from a grid standpoint and looking at reserve margins and everything else. I think there’s going to be a lot we learn from this event but at the end of the day everybody needs to realize we’re all in this together and we’re going to get through it,” Yates said.

Yates said one of the biggest things he hopes we take from this is the need to upgrade our energy infrastructure, making it possible to move power from where it’s generated to where it’s needed.

“Energy is overly politicized but at the end of the day when you have freezing temperatures and you have gas wells that are frozen, if you have icing events with wind turbines, you have to be able to source and move power around a market to ensure we keep the lights on. I think one key takeaway is America’s energy infrastructure and the investment into that infrastructure is vital so hopefully moving forward we don’t have any other events like this in the future,” Yates said.

Yates said the next few days are going to be very tough on the energy industry as they work with very small margins trying to keep the lights on, but he’s hopeful they can start working back to normal by this weekend.