a better grid

ERCOT unveils ambitious plan to improve Texas power grid reliability

ERCOT unveils ambitious plan to improve Texas power grid reliability

thermometer heat hot sun
Texans have been rightfully wary of the grid. Photo by Getty Images

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, has rolled out its plan to address improvements to the state's power grid.

On Tuesday, July 13, ERCOT released a 60-item roadmap it said will be updated regularly through the end of the year. The council says it includes both existing and new initiatives.

The move comes after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently demanded aggressive action from state utility regulators to shore up the grid.

Here are a few of the items, according to ERCOT:

  • Taking a more aggressive approach by bringing more generation online sooner if it's needed to balance supply and demand. The grid operator is also purchasing more reserve power, especially on days when the weather forecast is uncertain.
  • Requiring CEO certifications. After a rule change, all market participants who own or operate generation resources and/or transmission/distribution power lines will be required to submit a letter signed by their CEO twice a year certifying their companies have completed their weatherization preparations to protect the electric grid for the summer and winter seasons.
  • Adding new requirements for generation owners. ERCOT is proposing a new market rule that requires generators to provide operational updates more frequently.
  • Assessing on-site fuel supplies. ERCOT is reviewing the need for on-site fuel supplies for some generators.
  • Performing unannounced testing of generation resources. ERCOT says this testing helps verify that generators have provided accurate information about their availability.
  • Addressing transmission constraints in Rio Grande Valley. ERCOT and the PUC (Public Utility Commission) are initiating a process to address RGV transmission limitations and provide increased market access for resources in the Valley. ERCOT says this will improve reliability for customers during normal conditions and high-risk weather events.

ERCOT and grid woes continue to be top of mind for Texans. At least 220 generators were offline the week of June 14 when council officials called for Texans to conserve power.

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