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ERCOT Releases Plan To Strengthen Texas’ Electric Grid

Julia Reihs

The 60-point “Roadmap to Improving Grid Reliability” includes more energy conservation alerts and plans to increase transmission capacity in South and West Texas.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, has released what it is calling a “Roadmap to Improving Grid Reliability.”

The outline comes amid angst over whether Gov. Greg Abbott and lawmakers did enough to improve the statewide electric grid during the regular legislative session.

The 60-point plan includes more conservation alerts, like the one issued in June as offline electric plants almost caused statewide blackouts. It also seeks to increase transmission capacity from South and West Texas while keeping the rest of the grid stable. There was similar legislation proposed in the last session, but it died in the House.

The ERCOT plan also will require generators and transmission line owners to provide a signed document twice a year with details of weatherization for summer and winter, in an effort to prevent another massive breakdown like the one during February’s storm.

ERCOT also says it has already completed 20 of the points, and says many of the next steps will have to be made by the Public Utility Commission.

Abbott has previously said the state had done all it could, and that regulators now have the tools to improve electric grid reliability.

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I grew up in Austin and studied journalism at the University of Texas. I began my radio career making fun of headlines on local sports and news talk shows. I moved to New York City to be a comic. Found some pretty good "day jobs” managing a daily news radio show for the Wall Street Journal and later, producing business news for Bloomberg Television. Upon returning to Austin, I dabbled in many things, including hosting nights and weekends on KUT and producing nightly TV news. Now I’m waking up early to make Morning Edition on KUT even better than it already is.