Texas Grid: Power officials promise ‘lights will come on’ this winter

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) – We’re getting a better idea of ​​how well the state is preparing for winter. On Wednesday, PUC and ERCOT, the two agencies in charge of the Texas grid, made a bold promise.

“The ERCOT grid is stronger and more reliable than ever.”

“Because of all these efforts, the lights will come on.”

December 1 is the deadline for generators and transmission companies to tell the state what they have done to streamline their operations. The heads of PUC and ERCOT say they are encouraged by what they have seen so far.

In a boardroom meeting in Austin, a week after the state gave power companies a deadline to let them know what they’ve done to get ready for winter, the heads of PUC and ERCOT told us how things were going. They told us that between now and December 29, they intend to test more than 300 generating units and 21 transmission providers. That figure accounts for 85% of the electricity lost during last February’s storm, they say. They tested 55 generator units and two transmission line providers. They also gave us some important insight into what their inspectors wanted to see.

“Have they put windscreens around the right facilities to make sure that cold wind doesn’t cause problems with the equipment? Have they put in the right insulation blankets of the right equipment to make sure that the blankets retain heat does that keep those facilities warm? put proper thermal trenches in place so that the pipes don’t freeze in cold weather?” ERCOT Interim CEO Brad Jones explained.

Officials said Wednesday that 100% of transmission line operators were in compliance and 97 percent of power plants. For that 3%, as many as eight power generation companies failed to submit their winter readiness reports ahead of time. Now PUC has filed infringement against those companies.

The introductory video above is from an earlier report.

For more updates on the Texas grid, follow Tom Abrahams on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Dais Johnston

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