The commissioners were very concerned about the timelines ERCOT presented in their January 10th comments for implementing phase 1 and 2 of the PUC roadmap for market reform, particularly for firm fuel service and backstop reliability service. ERCOT was instructed to look into hiring outside contractors to complete the projects by next winter and told that next winter was the legislature’s expectation.
Related to that, Chairman Lake made two comments about the board that may prove telling. First, he implied that the board was going to deal with ERCOT’s resource and staffing issues promptly. Second, he also implied that the board was going to do something to significantly speed up the ERCOT stakeholder process, as it was unacceptable that directives from the commission needed to go through a long stakeholder process only to be reapproved by the commission. I am worried that this implies a further reduced role for the ERCOT stakeholder process.