Motivated by February’s Texas grid debacle and last month’s Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) alert pleading with residents to conserve energy, Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this week issued a letter to members of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), directing them to take immediate action to improve electric reliability across the state. According to the governor’s office, the directives build on reforms passed in the 87th legislative session to increase power generation capacity and ensure the reliability of the Texas power grid.
“The objective of these directives is to ensure that all Texans have access to reliable, safe, and affordable power, and that this task is achieved in the quickest possible way,” the letter states. “Through clear communication, transparency, and implementation of these critical changes, the PUC and ERCOT can regain the public’s trust, restore ERCOT’s status as a leader in innovation and reliability, and ensure Texans have the reliable electric power they expect and deserve.”
The directives: In the letter, dated July 6, the governor urges the PUC to immediately take the following actions:
■ Streamline incentives within the ERCOT market to foster the development and maintenance of adequate and reliable sources of power, including nuclear, natural gas, and coal.
■ Allocate reliability costs to generation resources that cannot guarantee their own availability, such as wind or solar power.
■ Instruct ERCOT to establish a maintenance schedule for nuclear, natural gas, coal, and other non-renewable electricity generators to ensure that there is always an adequate supply of power on the grid to maintain reliable electric service for all Texans.
■ Order ERCOT to accelerate the development of transmission projects that increase connectivity between existing or new dispatchable generation plants and areas of need.