Texas policymakers are looking for scapegoats for the February outages, but Texans have a collective inability to blame natural gas.
The official autopsy of the great Texas winter blackout of February 2021 quickly established a clear timeline of events: Electric utilities cut off power to customers and distributors as well as natural gas producers, which in turn triggered a negative feedback loop that sunk the state deeper and deeper into frigid darkness.
Texas Generation Group Suggests PUC Implement Nonbypassable Charge to Fund Generation Weatherization
In comments to the Texas PUC in a proceeding on weatherization standards, Texas Competitive Power Advocates (TCPA) recommended that the PUC adopt a cost recovery mechanism, perhaps through a non-bypassable charge, for facilities subject to new weatherization mandates for whom cost-of-service ratemaking is unavailable.
Following the events of Winter Storm Uri, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway proposed a plan that would allow for the company to finance the building of 10,000 megawatts of new, natural gas-fired generating capacity at a cost of $8 billion. Berkshire Hathaway, being a company in business to generate profits to investors, proposes to make a profit from this enterprise as well. Its proposal would be for electricity consumers to reimburse it for the cost of building and operating the plants under a formula that would guarantee it would generate a seemingly reasonable 9.3 percent rate of return on the investment.
Michele Richmond, executive director with Texas Competitive Power Advocates, argues against the plan on behalf of the power generators of Texas in this Forbes article, written by David Blackmon.
Texas Competitive Power Advocates (TCPA) Recommendations to Prevent Future Outage Events Like February 2021
TCPA is committed to working with state leadership, industry regulators and stakeholders who have a vested interest in mitigating the risks associated with extreme weather events. The events of the week of February 14 resulted from many factors, including loss of generating resources across all fuel types.
Click below for TCPA recommendations