All but 1 Texas power generator shared winter weatherization plans

Texas

AUSTIN (KXAN) — All but one of Texas’ power generators have submitted plans for weatherization the state, according to a new filing with the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

Hundreds of transmission and power generation entities were required to submit their plans for winter weather readiness with the agency by Dec. 1, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, submitted a report about who is in compliance Friday morning. This assessment of their preparedness for severe weather came as a result of a historic winter storm that left millions of Texans without power. Some power generators weren’t able to operate because of the conditions, putting a massive stress on the grid.

The report shows 100% of transmission companies, including Bluebonnet and Pedernales Electric Cooperatives in Central Texas, submitted their plans on time. Eight generation companies missed the deadline to file reports for 13 specific power generation resources.

By Friday, only an entity called BT Cooke Solar, LLC had failed to submit a filing. KXAN reached out to a representative with this group and will update this story when it receives a response.

Earlier this week, the PUC said these eight entities generate less than 1% of the state’s total capacity, but it has already begun to take enforcement actions against the companies who missed the deadline.

The agency said entities that receive violations have 20 days to respond and can request a hearing.

“I am pleased that the industry is taking seriously our aggressive timelines. This is just one more step to strengthening our grid,” PUC Executive Director Thomas Gleeson stated in an agency press release.

Of the 846 submitted readiness reports, 244 reports requested exceptions or extensions on the grounds of “good cause for non-compliance.”

ERCOT has reviewed around 70% of those good-cause assertions, and according to the report, does not believe those generating units are “wholly unprepared” for extreme winter weather.

The report indicates some of the owners of these plants described two or three week delays in getting the right equipment or in completing the remaining work. Others stated certain requirements do not apply to their generation resource. For example, part of the new rule requires entities confirm their air moisture prevention systems are operable, but some entities noted their wind resources do not have air moisture prevention systems.

ERCOT and PUC staff are reviewing all of the good-cause assertions, and if they disagree with an
entity’s assertion, that entity must initiate a formal request and proceeding before the PUC.

Gleeson said, “We will not hesitate to use the tools at our disposal to ensure reliability.”

Below, explore the two reports that show which companies have submitted weatherization plans:

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