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Texas regulators direct higher plant payment amid capacity crunch concerns

By District Energy posted 01-22-2019 14:44


Gavin Bade, Utility Dive


Texas utility regulators last week directed the state's power market operator to boost payments to generators during periods of high electricity demand amid growing concerns that the state could run short of capacity this summer.

The Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCT) directed the Electric Reliability Corporation of Texas (ERCOT) to make changes to the Operating Reserve Demand Curve (ORDC), a market mechanism that governs how power prices respond during times of grid stress. The shift in the ORDC will mean higher prices for power plants and demand-side resources that can respond during peak demand periods.

The move came after ERCOT reported its 2019 reserve margin had dropped to 7.4%, well below the state's target of 13.75%. Power generators, who floated similar changes to the ERCOT market in 2017, praised the proposed changes.

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