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Lubbock mayor says joining ERCOT grid would be a ‘win’ for LP&L customers

Updated: Dec. 24, 2015 at 12:20 AM CST
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Matt Rose
Matt Rose
Greg Taylor
Greg Taylor

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Thursday, the Public Utility Commission of Texas made an announcement that could potentially change how LP&L can purchase power.

This new plan could save the city money, which could in turn save consumers money.

Council and Electric Utility Board members all echoed the same sentiment, saying this is a historic day for Lubbock.

Thursday morning in Austin, the PUC gave their approval to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, known as ERCOT, to start the process of possibly adding Lubbock to the power grid that currently serves 90 percent of Texas.

Several counties on the South Plains are already included in the ERCOT grid.

Right now, Lubbock is part of the Southwest Power Pool, which only allows the city to purchase power from two companies, Xcel and Golden Spread.

But, after Thursday morning's PUC meeting, that could change.

LP&L representative Matt Rose says we are only in the beginning stages that could result in Lubbock joining the ERCOT system June 1, 2019.

"It gives us access to an open marketplace where we can really take advantage of the most competitive pricing at any given point of time," he says.

Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson says per initial studies that the city has done, Robertson believes this will be beneficial not only to ERCOT, but also to the rate payer.

"Discounting inflation over the next four years, our citizens will win," Robertson says. "Not only with the fact that they'll have very good reliable power source, but it's going to be economical and I think it'll save them money in the pocket books."

He also says this plan could save the city money because by joining ERCOT it eliminates the need to build an expensive power plant.

We received a lot of questions asking if joining ERCOT would create competition for LP&L.

So, we asked Chairman of the EUB, Greg Taylor, who says at this time it would not.

"There could be a decision made by future councils or boards, boards recommending to councils, that, that be a possibility. I won't speculate on that eventuality," Taylor says.

XCEL Energy released a statement on Thursday saying that they're concerned about this plan saying it could end up costing both XCEL and ERCOT customers more money.

RELATED STORY: PUC authorizes ERCOT to study adding Lubbock to power grid

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