Abbott’s order directs the Texas Electric Commission to take steps to avoid another power outage.
Following the massive power outage in Texas in February, Governor Greg Abbott and the Electric Reliability Commission of Texas (ERCOT) have implemented important operational reforms to minimize future failures.
Abbott recently issued a letter to members of the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) encouraging them to make certain immediate modifications to ERCOT’s operational procedures. According to KXAN, the Electric Reliability Commission is in charge of 90 percent of the state’s power.
The letter instructed ERCOT to make fundamental changes to how power grids are managed. “These efforts, in combination with strengthened enforcement capabilities provided by the Texas Legislature, will assure better stability and reliability of the Texas electric grid,” Abbott said.
Brad Jones, ERCOT’s Interim President and CEO, reacted with a letter to the governor on Tuesday, citing 60 adjustments the commission has made to avoid another outage like the one in February.
Among the changes are:
Taking a more proactive/aggressive strategy to ensuring that sufficient generation supply is available to fulfill customer demand.
In comparison to a year earlier, we purchased much more reserves.
The quantity of generation that is running at any given time has been increased.
Reserves were released to fulfill client demand more quickly.
When the weather forecast was uncertain, extra reserves were procured.
Yesterday afternoon, we released a resource outage report that complies with the PUC’s mandate to publicize the cause of unplanned generation outages within three working days.
“We have made a lot of progress at ERCOT in recent weeks, but we recognize there is still much work to be done,” the letter said. At ERCOT, we all share your aim to reestablish public confidence in our organization.”
All of these measures are part of a big effort to avoid another power outage like the one that occurred in February, when a severe winter storm left millions of Texans cold and without power for days. According to KXAN, 151 individuals died as a result of storm-related situations.
Since then, ERCOT and Governor Abbott have been the subject of public criticism as dissatisfaction with the state’s slow pace of reform grew. Following the February event, at least five ERCOT directors resigned.
Abbott signed two bills into law in June, changing the number of ERCOT board members and requiring ERCOT power providers to weatherize equipment and communicate more effectively. This is a condensed version of the information.