The Midnight Connection - A Texas utility's attempt to change the state's grid : Planet Money Texas's energy grid is largely disconnected from the rest of the U.S. That led to disastrous consequences last year when the state's grid was overloaded during a winter storm. Back in the 1970s, one company attempted to change the system in a secret, middle-of-the-night operation.
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The Midnight Connection

The Midnight Connection

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Ron Jenkins/Getty Images
FORT WORTH, TX - FEBRUARY 16: Transmission towers support power lines above the frozen over Clear Fork of the Trinity River after a snow storm on February 16, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

In February 2021, Texas was hit by brutal winter weather. Cold temperatures caused parts of Texas's energy infrastructure to fail right as there was a surge in demand for power to heat homes and businesses. The state's grid operators were forced to shut down parts of the system, leading to massive blackouts and water shortages.

Texas's energy grid, unlike those in most other states, is disconnected from the rest of the country. This turned out to be a huge contributing factor to last year's disaster. After the storm, many people began to ask whether changes should be made to the system. And, it turns out, back in the 1970s, one company did try to change things by connecting Texas's grid to the rest of the country in a secret, middle-of-the-night operation.

On this episode, The Texas Newsroom's podcast The Disconnect brings us the story of The Midnight Connection.

Music: "Making Magic," "No Quelling the Inquisitive," and "Trip Hop Groove"

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