AUSTIN, Texas — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said Thursday the state's electric generation fleet is ready for winter weather.
More than 300 electric generation units, representing 85% of the megawatt hours lost during the February winter storm, and 22 transmission station facilities have been inspected for mandatory winterization efforts by ERCOT.
Inspection results show that independently-owned electric generation fleet and electric transmission companies making up the 300 units are ready for winter, with a few exceptions, ERCOT reported.
Ten generation resources from the 302 total inspected had items identified that needed correction. However, ERCOT said many of the items needing correction have been completed since the inspection and that the 10 units are still operational. Those units have a capacity of just over 2,000 megawatts, representing about 1.7% of the total ERCOT generation fleet, according to a release.
“Texans can be confident the electric generation fleet and the grid are winterized and ready to provide power,” said Woody Rickerson, vice president of grid planning and weatherization. “New regulations require all electric generation and transmission owners to make significant winterization improvements and our inspections confirm they are prepared.”
ERCOT said it would follow up with generation and transmission facilities with potential identified issues. Energy producers who violate weatherization rules face maximum penalties of $1 million per day, per violation.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), which oversees ERCOT, filed violation reports against eight power generation companies earlier this month, claiming those companies failed to file "winter readiness reports" by the deadline set. Those eight companies make up 13 generation sources out of the 850 across Texas.
Failing to submit the reports, however, does not mean that the companies have not winterized their facilities. But the PUC said the reports are needed to ensure the power grid is prepared to stay on during severe winter weather.
The winterization requirements and fines for failure to implement such changes and prepare for severe winter weather come after Winter Storm Uri slammed Texas in February 2021, freezing some generators and knocking others offline due to a higher demand in power – all leading to blackouts leaving many Texans in the dark for days at a time.
The massive failure led to the changes from the PUC, ERCOT and state lawmakers, along with the firing of the entire ERCOT board and a restructuring that reduces the number of seats and gives state leaders more control over who sits on the board.
PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING: