Amateur photographer Brian Luenser caught this video last night as storms swept across Fort Worth and Dallas. Over a three minute period, transformers can be seen blowing up across the landscape.
As a resident of the area, I find this rather disturbing. Yesterday was the fourth time this year (we are only in May) that my neighborhood has lost power. Perhaps we’ve just been unlucky, but it does seem that reliability (at least in my neighborhood) has decreased recently.
It reminded me of a conversation I recently had with a Floridian who asked “In a deregulated market, what kind of incentive does your utility have for keeping your power on? Here in Florida, if our power goes out, our utility doesn’t get paid because, obviously, we aren’t using power. They want us back on as soon as possible. But in Texas, they don’t really care, because they aren’t billing you for the power, someone else is.”
I assured him that our regulators in the state continued to regulate the utilities to ensure that they were operating appropriately, but I wonder if I spoke too soon.