The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is making changes to prepare for future winters.
Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of ERCOT spoke at Carrollton’s Nov. 9 City Council meeting to understand how the state of Texas plans to winterize its energy sources so the electric grid does not lose power like it did in February.
During the winter storm, Jones said ERCOT lost 50,000 megawatts of electrical generation. According to Jones, that is the equivalent of California’s power demand at its peak.
“We lost more generation than the entire state of California,” he said
During the outages, Jones was in retirement. However, he said he came out of retirement and rejoined ERCOT to be a part of the solution in ensuring a mass outage does not happen again.
Part of the plan is to conduct inspections of all generators between Dec. 2-23. ERCOT would then be able to levy fees to generators that are not up to code. Jones said 98% of the outages were due to breakages.
Additionally, Jones clarified that power distributions should have an action plan in the event of a future power outage rather than redirecting customers to ERCOT. Jones also explained that accountability needed to go toward the Railroad Commission because of the shortage in fuel for generators.
Additionally, power regions will be remodeled, so residential areas near critical infrastructure like hospitals and fire stations will share in the rolling outages with the rest of the customers who are not near critical infrastructure. By having more residents participate in rolling blackouts, this will alleviate the demand for power on a more equal ground and lighten the load on generators in the winter, Jones said.
ERCOT also plans to communicate more directly with its distributors and ensure power distributors communicate more clearly with residents so residents are not unsure of what is happening with the power.
Jones said he will be travelling across Texas to address ERCOT’s efforts to prevent future significant outages.