TEXAS, USA — The Texas electric power grid is ready to keep the lights on this winter, according to a new report from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
ERCOT filed its final winter weatherization report of the season with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). The report from ERCOT shows that 321 of 324 electric generation units and transmission facilities passed inspection for new winterization regulations.
“The Texas electric grid is more prepared for winter operations than ever before,” said Interim ERCOT CEO Brad Jones in a release.
ERCOT conducted onsite inspections at more than 300 electric generation units in December, representing 85% of the megawatt hours lost during the February 2021 winter storm due to outages and 22 transmission station facilities. The council reported that three resources have been identified for "further review" but are still operational and represent less than half of a percent of the total generation fleet.
Energy producers who violate weatherization rules face maximum penalties of $1 million per day, per violation.
“We are confident these 321 inspected facilities either meet or go beyond the new requirements from the Commission and we will continue to work with the other three facilities to ensure they correct remaining deficiencies,” said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT vice president of system planning and weatherization. “Our teams spent thousands of hours preparing for and conducting these 324 on-site inspections to ensure the electric grid is prepared for winter.”
The inspections for winterization requirements and fines for failure to prepare for winter weather comes after Winter Storm Uri hit the Lone Star State nearly a year ago, freezing some generators and knocking others offline due to energy demand outpacing available supply. The issues led to blackouts in different parts of the state, leaving many Texans in the dark for days at a time.
A total of 246 state residents died during the storm, with the Texas Department of State Health Services reporting the deaths were indirectly, directly or possibly attributable to the storm.
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