San Antonio Express News: Faith groups urge Texas lawmakers to shield consumers from winter storm fallout
April 12 — The Network of Texas Industrial Areas Foundation Organizations, a coalition of interfaith service groups, joined The Metropolitan Organization of Houston at a Monday afternoon news conference in favor of state-level reform after the freeze.
April 14 — It wasn’t a 100-degree summer scorcher. It wasn’t a freezing winter day. And a hurricane had not barreled through on Tuesday. “Yesterday should have been one of the easiest days of the year to keep the lights on,” said Daniel Cohan, associate professor of environmental engineering at Rice University. “It was nice and mild all throughout Texas.”
Utility Dive: Following California and Texas blackouts, experts see potential for energy storage and better grid planning
April 14 — Last year, California had a few hundred megawatts of storage in wholesale markets, noted Carla Peterman, Southern California Edison senior vice president of strategy and regulatory affairs and former regulatory commissioner. “This summer, we’re going to have a few thousand. So it’s really going to be a great opportunity to see how we can operate these facilities effectively,” she said.
April 16 — Texas lawmakers on Tuesday unanimously confirmed Will McAdams to the Public Utility Commission by a 31-0 vote.
April 14 — Texas grid operator the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) on Tuesday ended its earlier request to curb power consumption due to outages and increased demand from cold weather in parts of the state.
Texas Tribune: Texas energy companies push back against Berkshire Hathaway’s $8 billion plan for backup power
April 15 — Revenue for 10 emergency power plants would come from a monthly charge on Texans’ power bills. The proposal is just one of several bills lawmakers are considering after February’s massive power outages.
April 16 — The package groups the measures, all filed before the mid-March filing deadline, into four categories. The first two focus on energy production: “Texas Jobs for a Changing Economy” includes job training investments to support a transition to clean energy, while “Preserving Texas Resources and Industry Accountability” includes a tax intended to curb gas flaring (currently, producers pay no severance taxes on the harmful methane emissions they flare off) and requiring producers to submit gas capture plans.
April 15 — The state’s grid operator included extreme weather scenarios in its early summer assessment and found that a combination of a severe drought, heat wave and low winds could lead to more power outages. Experts warn this summer could be hot and dry, enhanced by climate change.
Washington Post: The fight over who will pay for Texas blackouts gears up
April 14 — A high-stakes struggle over billions of dollars is playing out in federal bankruptcy courts, in state courts and in the Texas legislature
NBC DFW: Abbott Names New Pick for Texas Public Utility Commission
April 12 — If confirmed by the Texas Senate, Peter Lake would serve as the chair of the commission — a position that has seen a high turnover rate since February’s winter storm.
RTO Insider: Texas Supreme Court Stays ERCOT Lawsuits
April 12 — The panel also granted a request by Vistra, NRG Energy, Calpine, Exelon Generation and other ERCOT market participants to stay proceedings in another 15 cases related to the February storms. The grid operator’s attorneys said in the motion that the 35 cases have been filed in four different counties, with 24 filed in Harris County in 15 different district courts.
KENS 5: Gov. Abbott appoints Texas Water Development Board Chairman Peter Lake to PUC
April 12 — Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Peter Lake to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). If confirmed by the Texas Senate, Abbott will designate Lake as chairman of the PUC for a term set to expire on Sept. 1, 2023. The PUC regulates Texas’s electric, telecommunication and water and sewer utilities – including the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) – and implements respective legislation. It also offers customer assistance in resolving consumer complaints.
Texas Tribune: ERCOT to argue it is immune from winter storm lawsuits
April 9 — Nearly two dozen lawsuits allege that failures by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the operator of the state’s main power grid, led to the wrongful death of a family member.
Forbes: Let’s Mess With Texas’ Power Market—And Make It Stronger
April 9 — The mysterious causes behind February’s disastrous power failures are finally becoming clear, but important questions remain.
April 6 — In 2006, while we paid an average of 15 cents a kilowatt, Texas consumers in regulated areas paid just 10 cents. In 2014 when we paid 13 cents, they paid 11 cents. Same price comparison in 2019. When comparing the totals paid for electricity in both deregulated and regulated areas, we found we have overpaid more than $28 billion because of deregulation.
April 7 — The Public Utility Commission of Texas on April 7 initiated a revision to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ scarcity pricing rule to ensure that a “circuit breaker” change in the systemwide offer cap, designed avoid harming consumers, does not create what the chairman called “absurd results.”