AUSTIN (KXAN) — Over two years after the deadly February 2021 winter storm, Austin Energy will get a $2.86 million payout from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas for financial damages.
Austin Energy interim general manager Stuart Reilly said the money “will directly benefit Austin Energy customers” in a Friday memo to city council and the city manager outlining the settlement.
Texas grid operator ERCOT told Austin Energy to reduce output on the Fayette power project on Feb. 14 through early Feb. 15, 2021. The memo said Austin Energy lost money because it could not sell power into ERCOT’s market during this time. Austin Energy also needed to buy power on the ERCOT Real-Time Market to cover contractual obligations.
Since Austin Energy’s output was reduced by ERCOT’s demands, ERCOT protocols say the entity could be eligible for a payment if financial harm can be shown.
Austin Energy submitted a request for the Feb. 14-15, 2021, activities that complied with ERCOT instructions. ERCOT found that $2.86 million will cover losses—an amount that is $733,000 less than Austin Energy requested.
“Although Austin Energy did not recover the full amount requested, on balance, this is a positive result for Austin Energy’s customers,” Reilly wrote in the memo.
The $2.86 million payout will be applied to the power supply adjustment, which is a dollar-for-dollar pass-through to customers, the memo said.
Austin Energy said adjustments are typically made annually on Nov. 1. The settlement will help hedge against energy market pressures over the next six months until the new power supply adjustment is done, a spokesperson said.