Texas House advances Senate bill to revise approval process for proposed transmission lines

by Wendell Bell, Grid Monitor Posted 05/27/2021 The Texas House of Representatives on May 26th approved an amended version of a Senate bill that would revise the criteria used by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to evaluate applications for new high-voltage transmission lines.  It would add consumer impact tests along with new reliability assessments. Under […]

Utility reforms unsettled in final days of legislative session

by Wendell Bell, Grid Monitor Posted 05/28/2021 With the May 31st end of the legislative session only days away, Texas legislators have yet to agree on legislation that would address widespread utility failures during Winter Storm Uri.  Four of the most prominent bills are heading to conference committees to work out differences between House and […]

Texas House passes Senate bill on solar decommissioning, with changes

by Wendell Bell, Grid MonitorPosted 05/20/2021 On May 18th, the Texas House of Representatives passed a committee substitute for a Senate bill that would govern the decommissioning of utility-scale solar installations once the facility is no longer producing power.  SB 760 by Sen. Drew Springer (House Sponsor – Matt Shaheen) would require agreements with landowners […]

Senate committee considers changes to House-passed bill to securitize ERCOT defaults

Source – Grid MonitorPosted 05/20/2021SenateCommitteeonBusinessCommerceMay20th2021_HB4492Play Video The Senate Committee on Business and Commerce on May 20th heard testimony on a committee substitute proposing significant changes to HB 4492 that would create the Texas Electric Securitization Corporation to provide a financing mechanism for securitizing unpaid and short-paid invoices in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) […]

Legislature advancing utility reform measures as end of session nears

by Wendell Bell, Grid Monitor Posted 05/17/2021 With only two weeks remaining in the 87th Texas Legislature, lawmakers are advancing a number of proposals that would address utility sector problems exposed during Winter Storm Uri when over 4.5 homes and businesses lost power for several days leading to more than 150 deaths and billions of […]

Texas House approves distributed generation interconnection requirements for grocery stores in certain areas

by Wendell Bell, Grid Monitor Source – Grid Monitor Posted 05/15/2021 The Texas House of Representatives on May 14th passed a bill that would establish standards for the interconnection of backup generators for certain customers in certain utility service areas within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).  During floor debate leading to preliminary approval […]

Texas legislature approves ban on wholesale indexed electric plans

by Wendell Bell, Grid Monitor Source – Grid Monitor Posted 05/13/2021 On May 12th, the Texas House of Representatives concurred in Senate amendments to a bill that would prohibit a retail electric provider from offering residential and small commercial customers a rate plan that includes direct pass-through of real-time wholesale prices calculated by the Electric […]

Texas Legislature advances bills to address financial fallout from winter storm

by Wendell Bell, Grid Monitor Posted 05/07/2021 87thLegislativeSession-Part1-May5th2021_HouseVotePlay Video The Texas Legislature is working on several proposals to address utility-related financial woes resulting from Winter Storm Uri.  Some are limited to specific types of utilities while others address defaults in the wholesale market operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).  Details are still […]

Senate Business and Commerce Committee considers expanded use of distributed energy resources

by Wendell Bell, Grid Monitor Posted 05/05/2021 SenateCommitteeonBusinessCommerceP1-May4th2021_energyresourcesPlay Video The May 4th hearing of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee included testimony on a bill that would require the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to develop rules to allow distributed energy resources (DERs) to fully participate in wholesale energy and ancillary services markets in the Electric […]

Senate Jurisprudence Committee vets House versions of utility reform measures

by Wendell Bell, Grid Monitor Posted 05/04/2021 On May 3rd, the Senate Jurisprudence Committee held hearings on five House-passed bills dealing with weaknesses in the state’s utility systems exposed by Winter Storm Uri.  Four of the measures (HB 10, HB 11, HB 12 and HB13) are part of a suite of priority items identified by […]