FILE - Electric Reliability Council of Texas

In this Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 file photo, Bill Magness, president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), testifies as the Committees on State Affairs and Energy Resources hold a joint public hearing to consider the factors that led to statewide electrical blackouts in Austin, Texas. Content Exchange

(The Center Square) – In response to a directive issued by Gov. Greg Abbott to take immediate actions to increase power generation capacity and ensure reliability of the Texas power grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) on Monday announced a series of reforms it has implemented.

ERCOT, responsible for managing the Texas grid, announced it has taken “a more proactive, aggressive approach to ensure adequate generation supply is ready to meet customer demand.”

Roughly a month after calling on Texans to reduce energy usage, the agency says it has since increased the amount of generation that is running at any given time, and released reserves to meet customer demands more quickly. It has also purchased significantly more reserves compared to this time a year ago and procured additional reserves whenever there was an uncertain weather forecast, it said in a letter to bbott Monday.

ERCOT also began publishing public notifications in response to legislative reforms requiring more transparency. On Sunday, it launched a resource outage report in compliance with a requirement to post the cause of unplanned generation outages within three working days.

It also implemented new protocols to provide price certainty during emergency conditions and launched a new ERCOT homepage to provide clear, understandable information to the public. The entire website is expected to be updated by year’s end.

“We have made a lot of progress in recent weeks at ERCOT, but we know there is still much work to be done,” interim director Brad Jones said in a letter to the governor. “All of us at ERCOT share your desire to restore the public’s trust in our organization. We know that this is only attainable by working closely with the leadership and staff at the PUC and by continually focusing on enhancements that will help ensure a reliable grid.”

ERCOT came under fire in February for alleged mismanagement that resulted in millions of Texans left without power, heat or water for weeks during sub-freezing temperatures. The grid’s failures resulted in its former CEO and many on its board members resigning and the legislature passing reforms.

Of ERCOT’s implemented changes, “combined with the enhanced enforcement tools provided by the Texas Legislature,” Abbott said, “will ensure greater stability and reliability of the Texas electric grid. I work every week with the PUC and ERCOT to ensure that Texans have the reliable electric power they expect and deserve.”

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