Comprehensive operations changes already underway
AUSTIN, TX, July 13, 2021 – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has delivered the “Roadmap to Improving Grid Reliability” to Governor Greg Abbott, members of the Texas Legislature and the Public Utility Commission (PUC). The Roadmap is a comprehensive plan that addresses operational improvements to the Texas power grid, including important legislative changes, objectives outlined in the Governor’s letter issued July 6 and other reforms.
“Change is required for ERCOT to continue to reliably serve the millions of customers and businesses that depend on us,” said ERCOT Interim President and CEO Brad Jones. “We have extensively reviewed our processes to better serve Texans and will continue to work very closely with the PUC to ensure we’re aligned in these efforts. These changes will benefit all Texans and support continued economic growth for the state of Texas.”
The 60-item Roadmap is available on ERCOT.com and will be updated regularly through the end of the year.
“ERCOT’s Roadmap puts a clear focus on protecting customers while also ensuring that Texas maintains free market incentives to bring new generation to the state,” said PUC Chairman and ERCOT Board Member Peter Lake. “Texans deserve a more reliable grid, and we’re aggressively moving to make that a reality.”
The roadmap includes both existing and new initiatives, including:
- Taking a more aggressive operating approach. ERCOT is bringing more generation online sooner if it is needed to balance supply and demand. The grid operator is also purchasing more reserve power, especially on days when the weather forecast is uncertain.
- Requiring CEO certifications. After a rule change, all market participants who own or operate generation resources and/or transmission/distribution power lines will be required to submit a letter signed by their CEO twice a year certifying their companies have completed their weatherization preparations to protect the electric grid for the summer and winter seasons.
- Adding new requirements for generation owners. ERCOT is proposing a new market rule that requires generators to provide operational updates more frequently.
- Assessing on-site fuel supplies. ERCOT is reviewing the need for on-site fuel supplies for some generators.
- Performing unannounced testing of generation resources. This testing helps verify that generators have provided accurate information about their availability.
- Addressing transmission constraints in Rio Grande Valley. ERCOT and the PUC are initiating a process to address RGV transmission limitations and provide increased market access for resources in the Valley. This will improve reliability for customers during normal conditions and high-risk weather events.
In developing the Roadmap, Jones and the ERCOT team worked with the PUC, customers, former regulators, retired industry executives, environmental advocates and market participants to ensure all areas for improvement were considered and included.