In February, many citizens throughout the Concho Valley were without power due to the past winter storm’s impact on the state’s power grid.

During the 87th Legislative Session in Texas, Governor Abbott signed Senate Bills 2 and 3 into law “to reform the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and weatherize and improve the reliability of the state’s power grid,” according to the June 8th release on the Office of the Texas Governor’s website.

The release also adds, “Senate Bills 2 and 3 requires the weatherization of power generation facilities, natural gas facilities, and transmission facilities to handle extreme weather.”

Other requirements include

  • Texas Railroad Commission and ERCOT inspects the power generation facilities, natural gas facilities, and transmission facilities.
  • Issue penalties for non-compliance of weatherizing equipment.
  • Create a “Power Outage Alert” emergency alert system.
  • Establish the Texas Energy Reliability Council.
  • ERCOT to have eight of it’s 11-member board to be Texas residents.

What does this mean?

Under Senate Bills 2 and 3, both Texas Railroad Commission and ERCOT will inspect power stations to ensure weatherization compliance and issue penalties for non-compliance.

When power supply is not adequate to meet demands, the state is to send out a “Power Outage Alert” as part of the emergency alert system to keep citizens aware of what is happening at power stations statewide.

The establishment of the Texas Energy Reliability Council is to improve coordination between state agencies and the industry during extreme weather situations.

Having most of ERCOT’s members being Texas residents should improve responsiveness of ERCOT to make decisions to preserve power and improve communication between ERCOT and Transmission and Distribution Providers (TDSP) to get power restore more efficiently during power outage situations.

“During the winter storm, too many Texans were left without heat or power for days on end, and I immediately made reforming ERCOT and weatherizing the power system emergency items,” said Governor Abbott in the June 8, 2021 release. “We promised not to leave session until we fixed these problems, and I am proud to say that we kept that promise. These laws will improve the reliability of the electric grid and help ensure these problems never happen again.”