Governor Abbott issued a letter Tuesday, July 6, to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) calling for action regarding the Texas power grid.
The letter directed the PUC to make natural gas, coal, and nuclear power more accessible through the use of incentives within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market. And demanded that the PUC allocate reliability costs, for unavailable electricity during periods of high demand, to electric generators so that they invest in sources of guaranteed availability, such as wind or solar power.
"Those incentives must be directed toward the types of electric generators we need for reliability purposes," said the letter. "The goal of this strategy is to ensure that Texas has additional and more reliable power generation capacity."
Abbott also addressed in the letter that ERCOT create a maintenance schedule to ensure an adequate supply of power is always available, and asked that ERCOT increase the utilization of new or potential dispatchable generation, such as natural gas, coal, and nuclear power plants.
"Regular maintenance of our natural gas, coal, and nuclear plants must be strategically scheduled to prevent too many generation plants from being offline at the same time," said Abbott. "We must ensure that, at any point in time, ERCOT is utilizing non-renewable electricity in sufficient amounts to maintain reliable power throughout our state."
According to the letter, these directives are an addendum to the bills that were passed in the 87th Legislative Session to reform electric reliability; weatherizing the electric grid, bolstering the power grid integrity, and imposing greater mandates for the PUC.
"Through clear communication, transparency, and implementation of these critical changes, the PUC and ERCOT can regain the public’s trust, restore ERCOT’s status as a leader in innovation and reliability, and ensure Texans have the reliable electric power they expect and deserve," said Abbott.