Public Utility Commission of Texas Responds to Federal Report on Grid Reliability
The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) has responded to the story I posted yesterday questioning how ready the Texas power grid is for extreme winter weather.
According to KVUE, a new report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) claims the Texas power grid is almost as vulnerable as it was when many people across the state were left without power during the winter storm of February 2021. The report claims that only marginal improvements had been made to the grid.
In an email sent today, PUCT Director of Communications, Rich Parsons, insists the grid is ready for winter weather:
The grid is ready. We’ve fortified it against extreme cold by requiring winterization of infrastructure, we’ve put together a map of those critical facilities that must always have power so we can better manage resources in a crisis, we’ve adjusted the way power is bought and sold to bring more power to the grid sooner when we need it instead of waiting until moments before a grid emergency (that was the old way to doing business), ERCOT now has authority to say when power generators can go offline for maintenance and repairs to keep enough generation ready for the system, and the PUCT just recently passed a new rule requiring generators to be able to operate at the coldest temperature extremes they’ve ever experienced.
Parsons pointed out in the email that the grid performed well during the severe winter weather Texas experienced in February 2022. In addition, the grid experienced record-high demand during the summer with no systemwide disruptions or emergencies.
When it comes to the report, the FERC got it wrong, according to Parsons. ERCOT called for a correction and FERC obliged. It’s also important to point out that FERC’s report isn’t a forecast of likely outcomes, it’s merely scenario planning.
When it comes to grid reliability, ERCOT isn’t done. The plan is to continue to build upon the improvements that have already been made.
Thanks to Mr. Parsons for reaching out to provide additional information.