The Texas Senate passed a sweeping bill to overhaul the state’s electricity market following February’s historic blackouts by forcing power plants to winterize and barring the type of business model used by Griddy Energy. To learn more, read “Texas Moves to Make Generators Winterize, Bar Future Griddys.” Reading this article may require a subscription from the news outlet.
- The measure, which still needs approval by the state’s House of Representatives, would require the owners of all power generators, transmission lines, natural gas facilities and pipelines to protect their facilities against extreme weather or face a penalty of up to $1 million a day.
- On March 30, the Texas house preliminarily approved its own package of bills designed to respond to the grid failure. They include a measure that would only require power plants and power line owners to weatherize.
- Both House and Senate measures would ban power providers from offering electricity plans tied to the state’s volatile wholesale power market, a practice that resulted in exorbitant bills for customers during the energy crisis.
- The Senate bill would change the way that electricity is priced during an emergency to protect utilities from sky-high bills and require renewable energy sources to have backup plans to provide power at critical periods by purchasing so-called ancillary services.
Path to 100% Perspective:
The Texas blackouts are an urgent indication that recommendations should be turned into common-sense regulation that leads to grid reliability and ratepayer protection. Regulators and system planners analyze energy use based on one event in ten years. The current planning process does not account for extreme weather conditions that happen once in a hundred years, such as the system that moved through Texas in February. As climate change progresses, such events are forecasted to become more frequent, and should be considered during planning.
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