SB 2 and 3 to Reform ERCOT and Improve Grid
Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed Senate Bills 2 and 3 into law to reform the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), and weatherize and improve the reliability of the state’s power grid. Abbott made ERCOT reform and weatherization of the power system a priority this past session.
Under Senate Bills 2 and 3, Texas will now require the weatherization of power generation facilities, natural gas facilities and transmission facilities to handle extreme weather. The Texas Railroad Commission and ERCOT will be required to inspect these facilities. Failure to weatherize these facilities can result in a penalty of up to $1 million.
These bills also create a power outage alert whenever the power supply in the state may be inadequate to meet demand. Additionally, this legislation requires the Texas Energy Reliability Council to improve coordination between state agencies and industry during extreme weather emergencies and extended power outages. Finally, the legislation makes significant reforms to ERCOT, including having eight fully independent board members of the 11-member board, of which all must be Texas residents.
“During the winter storm, too many Texans were left without heat or power for days on end, and I immediately made reforming ERCOT and weatherizing the power system emergency items,” said Abbott. “These laws will improve the reliability of the electric grid and help ensure these problems never happen again.”