PUCT Closes ‘Phase One’ of Blueprint for Grid Reliability Improvement Projects

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Press release puct

Continues Focus on Second Phase of Market Reforms

Austin, Texas – The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) today closed two projects opened in 2021 to implement reliability improvements for the Texas electric grid. The closure marks the end of Phase One of the PUCT’s blueprint for reliability reforms, which focused on improving the operational reliability of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid through weatherization and back-up fuel programs for generation plants, and other market adjustments.

 

“The ERCOT grid is more reliable than it’s ever been and getting to this point has been a total team effort, working side-by-side with ERCOT, members of industry and using the tools and guidance given us by Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature,” said PUCT Chairman Thomas Gleeson. “This doesn’t mean we’re done improving the grid. We are continuously looking for ways to strengthen reliability and meet the needs of our fast-growing state. We’re just closing the book on this first chapter.”

 

Commissioners unanimously adopted the PUCT’s blueprint for reliability reforms in December 2021 and laid out two phases of reliability improvements for the ERCOT grid. The closure impacts Projects 52373 and 53298, which includes many of the Phase One reforms.

 

Phase One reforms, implemented by the PUCT and ERCOT over the past three years, include two major expansions of the PUCT’s weatherization rules, requirements for generators to secure backup fuel supplies, new consumer protection measures, and significant wholesale market changes that prioritized price stability and reliability.

 

Since the implementation of these operational reforms, the ERCOT grid has operated without disruption in service through multiple extreme hot and cold weather events that have repeatedly broken records for consumer demand for electricity.

 

Work on Phase Two of the reliability improvement blueprint is ongoing. Phase Two objectives focus on the overall design of the ERCOT wholesale market and implementing legislation passed by the 88th Texas Legislature in 2023. The PUCT is working on five market design projects:

 

Project 54584: Develop a reliability standard for the ERCOT Market
Project 55000: Implement the Performance Credit Mechanism
Project 55797: Develop and implement the Dispatchable Reliability Reserve Service
Project 55837: Review of Value of Lost Load in the ERCOT Market
Project 55845: Review of Ancillary Services in the ERCOT Market
These ongoing projects will ensure the ERCOT electricity market prioritizes both reliability and affordability for Texas consumers.

About the Public Utility Commission

Our mission is to serve Texans by regulating the state’s electric, telecommunication, and water and sewer utilities, implementing respective legislation, and offering customer assistance in resolving consumer complaints. Since its founding in 1975, the Commission has a long and proud history of service to Texas, protecting customers, fostering competition, and promoting high quality infrastructure. To learn more, please visit https://www.puc.texas.gov.

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