AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said it would launch a Voluntary Curtailment Program to assist all market participants and customers with large flexible loads, such as Bitcoin mining sites, in minimizing their energy use during periods of peak demand.

As part of their ongoing initiative to improve grid reliability, ERCOT said it was taking steps to assure reliability enhancements to avert the potential repeated interconnection concerns that occurred with the power grid failure.

Their response linked to an examination by the Sunset Advisory Commission based on their performance and function to ensure the reforms and concerns legislators have raised regarding the availability of resources and operations are implemented in preparation for the winter weather.

ERCOT Vice President of System Planning, Woody Rickerson said, “Our goal with this program is to work with large customers in supporting the reliability of the Texas power grid.”

Although this initiative is initially designed for large flexible loads, any customer connected to a Transmission Service Provider (TSP) facility at transmission voltage is eligible to participate, subject to the terms and limitations outlined in ERCOT’s announcement.

“These customers are large power users but have the flexibility and willingness to reduce their energy use quickly, if needed. By working with these large loads during peak demand periods, we will better serve all Texans while keeping the grid reliable and resilient” Rickerson said in a company notice.

Through phone calls, text messages and email, ERCOT said it would issue customers with an automated notification requesting consumption reduction during periods of low or declining Physical Responsive Capability (PRC) after Non-Spinning Reserve Service has been deployed, but prior to Emergency Response Service (ERS) deployment.

Tuesday marked the start of program registration, and ERCOT said it anticipates the program’s implementation Jan. 1, 2023. ERCOT also indicated the project is provisional and purely voluntary until a permanent structure is formed.