ERCOT cancels program aiming to increase power reserves ahead of winter

Winter Weather Tips

AUSTIN (KXAN) –  ERCOT canceled a program, which sought additional power from energy companies ahead of winter, due to limited responses from those companies. 

ERCOT announced the program in October to increase operating reserves and maintain grid reliability during the upcoming peak season. Still, without the additional resources, ERCOT said it does not expect any issues for the upcoming 2023-2024 winter. 

“The request for additional capacity was an extra layer of precaution to mitigate higher risk during extreme weather this winter,” said ERCOT President and CEO Pablo Vegas. “ERCOT is not projecting emergency conditions this winter and expects to have adequate resources to meet demand.”

ERCOT said it has made many improvements to the grid since the deadly 2021 winter storm that left hundreds of thousands of Texans without power days. Some of those improvements include weatherization inspections of electric generation units and transmission facilities, additional ancillary services, and firm fuel supply service, according to ERCOT. 

ERCOT President Vegas told the Dallas Morning News it was “disappointing” it didn’t receive a better response from industries or companies willing to participate in the program. 

“It was disappointing that there wasn’t more available in the procurement,” Vegas told the Dallas Morning News. “We’re going to really take the learning to focus on what we can do to improve down the road.”

ERCOT said it still believes there is potential for expanding grid demand response through industrial, commercial and residential entities and said it would work with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) to explore incentives and product designs. 

“Reducing peak demand at critical times can be an effective tool in an overall portfolio of reliability solutions,” it said. 

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