They say everything is bigger in Texas, and back in World War II, we were so big we needed our own power grid. That’s the origin of the Texas Interconnected System, now called ERCOT, which powers most of the state of Texas and makes us, to this day, the only state with our own power grid.
The origins of the Texas Interconnected System date back to the 1940’s, when Texas was pumping out supplies for World War II. President Roosevelt passed the Federal Power Act, which regulated interstate power. As long as the Texas grid didn’t connect with other states, it wasn’t under the jurisdiction of the new law. Texas didn’t mind – they were worried if they connected to the then-unreliable power grids across the US, the production of war-time products would halt.
ERCOT was formed after the 1965 blackouts in the Northeast called for regulation of grid reliability to national standards, but most of Texasstill remains untouched by federal hands when it comes to power. Those areas not a part of the ERCOT grid are part of the two other major U.S. grids – the Western and Eastern Interconnects.
So why hasn’t there been a call for the ERCOT grid to join with the rest of the U.S.? Because Texas, with three large metropolitan areas, two of which are in the Top 5 most populated in the U.S., is so large that we use more electricity than any other state.
To read more fun facts about North Texas, check out the North Texas Profile HERE.