Texas leads the country for the number of weather-related power outages over the past two decades, says a new report by a climate change nonprofit.
From 2000 to 2021, the U.S. had 1,542 major weather-related power outages.
With 180 outages, Texas beat out other states with smaller land mass and higher population density. Michigan came in second with 132, and California third with 129. North Carolina and Pennsylvania followed with 97 and 82, respectively.
Climate Central analyzed major power outages, during which at least 50,000 customers lost power. It used data reported by utility companies to the federal government.
The study found high winds, rain and thunderstorms caused about 58% of major outages. Winter storms, including snow, ice and freezing rain, caused 22%.
About 15% were caused by hurricanes and tropical storms, and 5% by extreme heat and wildfires.
Most notably, Texas was battered by a winter storm in February 2021, causing a near-total collapse of the state’s power grid. Some 4.5 million homes and businesses lost power. Hundreds of people died as a result of cold temperatures and outages, and the storm caused billions of dollars in infrastructure damage.
A storm Sunday in North Texas knocked out power to more than 9,600 customers. Power was fully restored by mid-afternoon Monday, an Oncor spokesperson said.
The frequency of weather-related power outages increased 78% over the past decade compared to the previous one, the report says.
To prevent more catastrophic outages, Climate Central urged investments in renewable energies while also modernizing aging electrical infrastructure and providing incentives to customers to cut back on peak usage times.