(CBSDFW.COM) – Scorching temperatures are upon Texans in the midst of summer and energy officials continue to be on the hot seat in the state.
On Thursday, the head of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the state’s Public Utility Commission gave an update on the grid’s preparedness.
The ERCOT and PUC leaders agreed the power will stay on as Texans enter the hottest stretch of the year. They also spoke about some changes to operations following the fallout from the February winter storms.
The blame for the energy disaster brought by the winter storms was placed squarely on ERCOT for mismanaging the state’s power grid.
At Thursday’s news conference, the chairman of PUC and ERCOT’s interim CEO delivered a promise to all Texans as the hottest days of the year are around the corner.
“The lights are going to stay on, and your bill should not change,” Peter Lake, chairman of PUC, said.
According to ERCOT, they generated 30% more reserve power for July compared to 2020. For August, it was 56% more.
The figures come as they expect to set a new record of generation during the coming weeks.
“As it stands today and looking at our conditions and what we expect to have next week, we expect to have a sufficient amount of generation to serve all Texans,” Brad Jones, interim CEO of ERCOT, said.
The two also took the opportunity to discuss a three-prong approach to improving reliability and their current business model. It includes stabilizing the grid for the summer, setting expectations for the remainder of the season and redesigning the market. By redesigning the market, officials are looking to flip priorities within the business of generating power.
“Historically, our market has focused on affordability first, reliability second. But now reliability is first,” Lake said.
Lake also spoke about doing away with a previous business model that would pay power generating companies bonuses when they approached a crisis mode on the grid.
“If these private companies are generating power in Texas, we want them to be paid for generating reliably and consistently without the grid having to get into crisis mode,” Lake said.
The structure of how the market redesign will look like is expected later this year, according to Lake.