LP&L pleased with ERCOT reform bills

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 10:40 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - After February’s deadly winter storm exposed flaws in the state’s power grid, Governor Abbott signed sweeping reforms to ERCOT.

Matt Rose with LP&L says the legislation contains the most important and urgent fixes to the market.

”Within those bills you have mandates with very strict penalties if they’re not adhered to. And we need that, because we need, all of the different participants in the market, we need them to step up and make the investments that need to be made to make sure we never have an event like this again,” Rose said.

Senate Bill 3 requires power providers to weatherize certain equipment, with penalties up to a million dollars for violations. The bill requires natural gas pipeline owners to weatherize facilities that feed into power plants.

”You can’t just weatherize power plants, and not fully weatherize the fuel supply that gets to those power plants. And so we’re glad that they took that first step on the pipelines but we’re hopeful that they continue to push on this, because that needs to happen,” Rose said.

Another part of the legislation is a bailout for power companies. It will raise energy bills across the state to keep bankrupt or struggling energy providers from dropping off the grid.

”We need to get the market cleared up so it can continue to function and we don’t have these shortpays hanging out there that affect future pricing,” Rose said.

Rose says ERCOT breaks demand records every summer, as more people move to Texas.

But, Rose says reserve margins for this year are above 15 percent, which is higher than their target.

”When it gets to 110 degrees and everybody is using the maximum amount of AC, it’s going to put a strain on any grid. But from what we’ve seen right now, we’re very encouraged heading into summer that all the contingencies have been thought through and that there will be an ample supply of electricity,” Rose said.

Rose says our power grid has performed well in this week’s high temperatures, but, he wants to encourage customers to do what they can to be energy efficient during peak months.

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