The Electrical Reliability Council of Texas and the Public Utility Fee of Texas say the Texas energy grid is “stronger and extra dependable than ever” and that “the lights will keep on” this winter.
After a winter storm in February 2021 killed greater than 100 individuals and coated a lot of the state in snow and ice whereas leaving thousands and thousands of Texans within the chilly and with out energy for a number of days, reporters, residents, and lawmakers all known as for investigations into ERCOT, the company that manages the state’s energy grid, and demanded accountability for the lack of energy and lives.
Peter Lake, chairman of the PUC, and Brad Jones, interim CEO of ERCOT, held a joint information convention Wednesday morning to replace Texans on the state’s efforts to enhance grid reliability for the winter.
Lake stated the teams are working at lightning velocity to enhance operations, improve the facility grid and guarantee reliability this winter by means of improved checks and balances they stated will guarantee better reliability.
Among the many modifications, Lake stated the state has extra energy mills on-line than ever earlier than and has established a rule that designates crucial pure gasoline infrastructure to make sure that gas from a very powerful pure gasoline amenities retains flowing to energy crops that burn the gasoline to generate electrical energy.
Lake stated the teams have labored to attain unprecedented coordination between each the Public Utility Fee and the Texas Railroad Fee together with by no means earlier than achieved cooperation between the pure gasoline industries and the facility technology industries.
“For the primary time ever, we will use each doable electron earlier than asking Texans to show down their properties and companies,” Lake stated.
Maybe most significantly, Lake stated that for the primary time ever the PUC can be requiring winterization of energy crops in Texas. A rule handed a month in the past requires mills to winterize by Dec. 1 and that CEOs should then attest to the steps taken to verify their crops will stay on-line.
ERCOT will then examine these mills to verify they’ve put the right tools in place to stop failures on account of climate. ERCOT stated they are going to be conducting inspections of greater than 300 mills by 21 transmission suppliers between Dec. 2 and Dec. 29 and that they’ve employed 12 individuals and two contracting corporations to conduct these inspections and set greatest practices for the fleet.
Lake stated the PUC additionally elevated penalties for violations of winterization requirements of as much as $1 million per day, per incident.
“We’re grateful for the mills who’ve been proactive in getting ready their energy crops for this winter, which is almost all of our fleet. Those who haven’t been proactive can be penalized swiftly and closely,” Lake stated. “As a mixture of all of those efforts, the ERCOT grid is stronger and extra dependable than ever. We go into this winter understanding that due to all of those efforts the lights will keep on.”
From new data revealing the causes of the huge February energy outages to new interviews revealing potential options, NBC 5 Investigates will get to the underside of the state’s energy issues within the ongoing streaming sequence “Powerless,” out there right here.
Whereas Lake stated the variety of modifications made between the assorted teams required to generate energy in Texas is unprecedented, the PUC and ERCOT will proceed to work to additional enhance the state’s energy grid.
The PUC additionally addressed the wholesale worth of electrical energy within the state, slicing the utmost megawatt per hour cost almost in half.
“Just lately the fee decreased the very best worth that may probably be charged in ERCOT from the notorious $9,000 per MW hour to $5,000 per MW hour. Beginning Jan. 1 these terribly excessive costs can by no means be charged once more,” Lake stated.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R) stated in June that legislative reforms would “repair all the flaws” however then the very subsequent month demanded aggressive motion from state utility regulators Tuesday to shore up that grid.
After months of guarantees, legislative hearings and debates Texas lawmakers handed a sequence of payments over the weekend geared toward stopping one other electrical energy catastrophe, just like the one which crippled the state in February.