The CEO overseeing Texas’ electrical grid says he sees great potential in nuclear energy.
Pablo Vegas joined the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) in October 2022 as President and CEO. ERCOT came under fire in February 2021 after a winter storm blasted Texas.
As temperatures dipped below zero, ERCOT implemented rolling blackouts when the power grid struggled to meet the high energy demand. For days, millions of Texans suffered through extreme weather conditions without electricity.
ERCOT pointed towards unreliable energy sources, claiming more than half of the state’s wind turbines froze during the storm and failed to supply enough power.
In an interview on The Salcedo Storm, Vegas said nuclear energy has great potential in Texas.
“Texas, as it often does, is leading the charge in working to create the environment where nuclear can become a core part of the future. Nuclear is a great, great power resource to develop in this country,” said Vegas, pointing towards the energy source’s duration and safety.
“So we need to be looking to this kind of baseload power to continue to support this growth,” he added.
When it comes to concerns over potential EMP attacks that could wipe out power across the state, Vegas said his agency takes the threat very seriously.
“We need to make sure that our transmission assets are able to withstand those kinds of impacts, that there’s enough reserves in our system that if something were to happen, we could quickly get them out of reserve, and then put the new equipment back on and get it up and running,” said Vegas. “Because there’s nothing more critical today…than maintaining electric supply. Because literally Health and Human Services rely on it, the quality of life we enjoy every day relies on it. After air and water, I think electricity is the most required commodity needed to support life in the modern world today.”