Oncor Prepared for Cooler Temps, Remaining Winter Months

Annual Preparations Completed and Communication Improvements Implemented

January 3, 2022 – With the return of cooler weather, Oncor is assuring customers that winter preparations have been completed and that their power delivery company is prepared for the remaining winter months. Oncor’s planning occurs year-round in anticipation of a variety of potential seasonal impacts, and winter preparations are implemented months before the cold season arrives. These preparations include:

 

  • Thousands of electrical facilities, including stations and main feeder lines, have undergone thorough air and ground inspections to ensure they are ready for high demand and cooler temperatures. This is in addition to regularly scheduled facility inspections and maintenance.
  • Forecasting and predictive analytics have been utilized to identify potential high load areas so equipment upgrades or replacements could be completed before failures might occur.
  • Material inventory has been increased and additional contract resources secured to ensure full availability of supplies and support ahead of potentially severe weather.
  • Personnel have completed multiple emergency preparedness training sessions to ensure staff are ready to quickly and safely respond to potential outage events.

 

As the “poles and wires” company that delivers power to customers, Oncor does not own, operate, or control power generation plants or facilities. Oncor has, however, implemented communication improvements based on learnings from the February 2021 power emergency, as well as followed recent weatherization requirements relevant to delivering power to our customers including:

  • Complied with the PUC weatherization rule adopted pursuant to SB3 and submitted its detailed Winter Weather Readiness Report to the PUC and ERCOT. Oncor standard weatherization procedures also remain in compliance with the 2011 FERC/NERC recommendations.
  • Worked with our telecommunications providers to harden their systems serving customer call centers and increase communication channel bandwidth to better perform during high volume events. Oncor prioritized this improvement after the February storm, when Oncor received more customer calls in two days than all of 2020.
  • Committed to increasing the frequency of situational and weather updates to customers, as supported by the company’s in-house meteorologist. Updates will be available across various communication platforms, including My Oncor Alerts, the MyOncor app, Oncor.com and the Storm Center Outage Map, social media channels, and direct contact with local officials.

Met with local officials and emergency management staff across its service territory to better understand community needs, including communication preferences, crisis response plans, and additional information surrounding critical facility designations.

ERCOT unveils Roadmap to Improving Grid Reliability

Comprehensive operations changes already underway

ERCOT

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.