Austin, TX – February 1, 2019 – The Texas Competitive Power Advocates (TCPA) member companies are planning investments to shore up their electric generation fleets in preparation for the expected Summer 2019 energy demand in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region. The additional investments are measured actions in part responsive to the phased-in changes approved two weeks ago by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) at their January 17 Open Meeting. Texas has had a successful competitive electric market for nearly two decades, and TCPA members are committed to doing their part to ensure the lights are on and Texas remains open for business.
While the PUCT decision was not a full implementation of recommendations made by the ERCOT generator community to align market prices with reliability risk, the stair-stepped approach to implement reforms in 2019 and 2020 is a thoughtful and reasoned step in the right direction, providing an ability for long-term investment planning. As a result, companies are responding to the increased certainty provided by the PUCT’s action.
“TCPA members are now planning to invest over an additional $100 million at existing generation facilities in ERCOT to better ensure their ability to perform under peak conditions,” said Michele Gregg, Executive Director. “Our members are also reviewing projects to add additional capacity to the ERCOT grid and have decided to continue operation of plants that had previously been under consideration for retirement.”
With hotter than expected temperatures forecasted for this summer, Texas generators are working diligently to meet Texas’ energy needs. There is no guarantee that renewable resources will be available during peak demand, but thermal generators are doing all they can to be the reliable resource Texans can continue to count on. The scarcity pricing reforms directed by the PUCT to be effective in 2019 and 2020 have investors closely watching forward prices to see whether the Texas market can support building and operating new resources. In the meantime, Texas’ competitive generators are making investments that make economic sense under the recent PUCT decision and will work with ERCOT, the PUCT, and stakeholders to continue the success of Texas’ competitive electric market.