No electricity for Giga Austin: Tesla boss complains about network operators in new home Texas

Where exactly Tesla CEO Elon Musk now lives is unknown, but he reportedly sold his Los Angeles property and, as he himself confirmed, moved to the US state of Texas at the end of 2020. There is also a lot for him to do there, because Tesla is building another gigafactory near the technology city of Austin, and Musk’s space company SpaceX operates a control and launch center on the coast. As one of the reasons for his private departure from Tesla’s California headquarters, the multiple CEO named the sunny state has become too complacent for him. But now the power went out in his new home in extreme cold – and Musk complained about the responsible transmission network operator there.

Tesla YouTuber without electricity and water

The construction of the new Gigafactory near Austin seemed to be going faster than Tesla’s factory project in Germany, but the usual videos about it have been missing for a few days. He has had neither electricity nor water for 36 hours, reported the YouTuber Joe Tegtmeyer, who otherwise regularly films on site, on Twitter late on Tuesday. In Texas, there has been an unusual cold with snow and ice storms for a few days. Among other things, this led to failures of icy wind turbines, although it is controversial what part of the current lack of electricity in Texas. Another factor mentioned, for example, is an extreme increase in gas prices.

Before complaining about the situation on Twitter, Musk described what the construction of Giga Austin currently looks like: “Covered with snow and ice, roads mostly closed and no electricity,” he replied to a photo on the official Tesla account which the site can be seen in a picturesque winter landscape. That didn’t sound too enthusiastic, but later the CEO was openly dissatisfied: “@ERCOT_ISO didn’t deserve the R,” he wrote on Wednesday morning in German time (in Texas in the middle of the night).


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Musk was referring to the electricity transmission system operator for the state, whose name is abbreviated to ERCOT and in long form Electric Reliability Council of Texas. According to the Tesla boss, the undeserved R stands for reliability – and that’s obviously really not that far away, at least at the moment.

Wherever Musk lives now, that should be less of a problem for him privately than for the gigafactory building. On the one hand, the Tesla boss often commutes by jet to California, where it is still warm, and to other parts of the world. On the other hand, it can be assumed that his accommodation in Texas is equipped with storage batteries from Tesla. When storms threaten, these powerwalls are automatically fully charged as a prevention against the threat of power failures. Stationary batteries from Tesla are also available on an industrial scale, but no such megapacks were seen in the previous videos for Giga Austin.

Governor’s statement could upset Musk

Musk would not have complained publicly about the ERCOT just because of private problems. The Tesla boss should also not like statements from Greg Abbott, Republican governor of Texas: The said in a TV interviewTexas is “blessed” with resources like natural gas and oil. He attributed the blackout to the disappearance of solar and wind power plants, which made up ten percent of the state’s generation capacity.


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