The commission talked briefly on the “Goal for Natural Gas”, the need to be wary of unintended consequences while implementing the Backstop Reliability Service, and the ERCOT system’s performance during last week’s winter storm.
- Goal For Natural Gas. As part of Senate Bill 7 (1999), which deregulated the electricity market in Texas, there is a provision that at least 50% of new generation build in Texas, excluding renewables, needs to be natural gas. Commissioner McAdams expressed belief that renewables should be included in the calculation although the text of the bill states “Sec. 39.9044. GOAL FOR NATURAL GAS. (a) It is the intent of the legislature that 50 percent of the megawatts of generating capacity installed in this state after January 1, 2000, use natural gas. To the extent permitted by law, the commission shall establish a program to encourage utilities to comply with this section by using natural gas produced in this state as the preferential fuel. This section does not apply to generating capacity for renewable energy technologies.” There was a vote to approve this year’s natural gas percentage calculation with three approvals and Commissioner McAdams voting against.
- Commissioner Cobos urged ERCOT to be considerate of possible unintended consequences of Backstop Reliability Service Implementation, particularly in regards to potential use of the Reliability Unit Commitment process for its deployment.
- ERCOT discussed its actions during the 2022 February Winter (non) Event. The Commission was very happy with the outcome.