Texas’ electric grid operator has powered through record demand this summer by paying more to keep higher reserves and rewarding industrial consumers to cut usage, a combination that has added more than $1 billion to power fees.
Operators are forced to defer maintenance as aging fleet is ‘run harder than it’s ever been run.’
Texas’ grid operator told a power plant to delay repairs ahead of a May heat wave. It was among six that crashed.
Climate change and other factors are shortening the window when aging Texas power plants can make repairs to run at full strength in hot summer months.
Power generators, providers are making summer preps, but are hamstrung by ERCOT’s caution. As power generators and providers complete the last of their preparations before the summer’s high demand arrives, one trade organization said ERCOT’s caution stemming from the deadly 2021 winter storm.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) over the past week separately expressed concerns about power supply uncertainties in the face of upcoming warmer-than-normal temperatures.
State regulators don’t require natural gas producers to report outages so supply dips can leave power providers in the lurch.