Governor Abbott declares Electric Reliability Council legislative reform emergency item after Texans suffer massive power outages during past 2 days

Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

Austin, February 16 – Texas Governor Greg Abbott today declared the reform of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) an emergency item during the 87th Legislative Session. In declaring this item an emergency, the Governor is calling on the legislature to investigate ERCOT and ensure Texans never again experience power outages on the scale they have seen over the past several days.

“The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours,” said Governor Abbott. “Far too many Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and severe winter weather. This is unacceptable.”

Abbott continued, “Reviewing the preparations and decisions by ERCOT is an emergency item so we can get a full picture of what caused this problem and find long-term solutions. I thank my partners in the House and Senate for acting quickly on this challenge, and I will work with them to enhance Texas’ electric grid and ensure that our state never experiences power outages like this again.”

Here’s how ERCOT describes itself:

“The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers — representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 680+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for 8 million premises in competitive choice areas. ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.”

In Texas alone, more than 4 million customers still had no electricity Tuesday morning. Some had been without power for more than 24 hours after generating stations went offline early Monday.

One Texas utility warned that the grid manager was “unable to predict when grid conditions will stabilize. All customers are urged to be prepared for (continued) extended outages.”

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