Ask an Engineer



ould things have worked out better in Texas if it weren’t on an electrical grid that is separate from the rest of the country?

Probably not, says Professor Wei-jen Lee of the University of Texas at Arlington, who answered questions with several of his colleagues in a panel discussion organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Lee, the director of the university’s highly regarded Energy Systems Research Center, notes that there was not enough capacity in the surrounding grids to have prevented the Texas blackouts even if the grids had been connected.

Doug Houseman, a grid-modernization expert at

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