FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2021
AUSTIN, TX - The Texas Senate today passed legislation authored by Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) increasing oversight of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Board of Directors and ensuring enough reserve power on the grid to meet net load by requiring that intermittent generation resources pair with replacement baseload sufficient to manage their own variability.
“This week's conservation alert reinforces the fact that Texans need and deserve a comprehensive legislative response that keeps our eye on the main goal: real reliability,” said Hancock, Chairman of the Texas Senate Business and Commerce Committee. “We can’t afford to get this wrong. The bills we passed today are key components of a long-term fix that balances out the Texas electric market and guarantees new generation.”
SB 2 increases oversight of ERCOT and reforms its Board of Directors in several ways, including requiring members to live in Texas so their decisions directly impact electric reliability in their own homes, businesses, and communities.
The bill additionally requires that the Chairman of the Board and its five unaffiliated members be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate; requires all major protocol changes at ERCOT to be reviewed by the PUC before adoption, also giving the PUC veto authority over those changes; requires that the board member representing retail electric providers is unaffiliated from an electric generator, ensuring a truly independent market participant; and revises the preferred qualification criteria for board member selection.
SB 1278 improves grid reliability by requiring intermittent, or weather-dependent, generators to procure backup generation called ancillary services (A/S). This approach is designed to create a more competitive A/S market that incentivizes new baseload capacity and increases battery storage, while maintaining Texas' status as a national leader in wind and solar production.
To read the full text of each bill or follow its progress in the Texas House of Representatives, visit capitol.texas.gov.