What to expect during LP&L transition to ERCOT

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 11:31 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - There is less than a month left before Lubbock Power and Light joins the ERCOT grid. Only 70 percent or about 83,000 customers will be part of the initial switch that will take place Memorial Day Weekend.

LP&L Mackenzie Substation
LP&L Mackenzie Substation(KCBD NewsChannel 11)

The other 30 percent will remain on the current grid, the Southwest Power Pool.

Despite this, LP&L spokesman Matt Rose says customers should not notice a difference on their end.

“Every single customer is going to be treated the same, regardless of which wires you’re on. You’re going to have the same rate, the same linemen are going to be working on your lines, the same engineers are going to be designing substations,” he said.

On Saturday, May 29 crews will begin the switch substation by substation.

Outages of approximately half an hour that weekend are expected.

“The process of switching over is basically like unplugging from one outlet and plugging into the other, in very simple terms. It’s not something that you can do simultaneously, it’s something that requires a break to hook onto the other system,” Rose said.

To check if you will be making the leap over, LP&L currently has an ERCOT connection schedule lookup tool on its website.

All you need is to plug in your meter number, available on your utility bill statement.

How to find your Meter Number on your City of Lubbock Statement
How to find your Meter Number on your City of Lubbock Statement(City of Lubbock)

“It will populate a result that will tell you, whether or not you’re going to be affected on Memorial Day, and then tell you if you’re affected on Saturday or Sunday and give you a four-hour time window,” Rose said.

It is possible there could be service differences between customers on the ERCOT grid versus the SPP grid, if there is a large-scale event like this past winter’s historic storm.

But Rose says that is very unlikely.

He has faith that the state legislature will pass regulation bills that will make ERCOT a more reliable system.

“In an odd sort of a way, it can be a blessing that if all of these major issues can be addressed before we enter the market, so we enter at a point when it is a stronger, more resilient market and grid,” he said. “I think it’s going to be beneficial for all customers.”

An end goal of the switch is to restore competitive market rates, but Rose says that will not happen until 100% of all LP&L customers are moved to the new grid.

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