Promises, Promises, What Texas Government Has Penned to Prevent ERCOT Failures

Austin Business Journal June 4-10, 2021 pp6-7|Electrical Grid|”ERCOT REFORM TOOk MULTIPLE FORMS IN SESSION AFTER BRUTAL STORM” by Jessica Corso-San Antonio Business Journal

Rob Roy on the Lake without power for days during the Polar Vortex and resulting ERCOT grid failure. Photo February 15, 2021 by 2244.

Early in the Polar Vortex storm with power outages extending into days, “Gov. Greg Abbott was quick to declare reform of the state’s largest electricity grid operator…”. Of the legislative action only HB16 has been signed into law as of June 1. HB16 “prohibits electricity providers from offering a whole indexed product to residential and small business customers and, therefore, from passing wholesale fuel costs onto such customers.”

Most importantly, SB3 has been sent to Gov. Greg Abbott for signature. SB3 calls for the Public Utility Commission of Texas “to set standards that power plant operators will have to comply with to hopefully avoid another winter storm emergency like earlier this year.” It also requires better customer notification of likely or impending power outages.

A key point of the outage was noted by Richard Perez (President, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce) “that, while some businesses were impacted…the impact was primarily residential…[and]…because people were working from home [due to the covid pandemic]…it affected business continuity.”