Abstract for: Severe Energy System Disruptions: An analysis of the 2021 Texas Winter Storm Blackout

The ERCOT blackouts caused by Winter Storm Uri in February 2021 affected millions of people and led to a wave of speculation regarding causes and possible solutions. These recommendations largely lacked hard data to support them. Understanding this event is significant to the study of energy system resilience in terms of its scale, complexity, severity, and potential. To date, we have been unable to find a study using a similar system dynamics approach to analyze a complex, multi-faceted energy system failure. Therefore, we intend to construct and validate a data-informed, calibrated system dynamics model of the ERCOT electrical system with key drivers taken from the individual failure mechanisms for this blackout event. We believe this will allow us to adjust the variables for the key failure mechanisms to make informed predictions about the holistic system response. Using this method, we intend to identify and prioritize defensible recommendations to enhance the resilience posture of the ERCOT electrical system.