Saturday, March 23, 2019

PUCT Briefs: Aug. 17, 2017

ERCOT, SPP to Coordinate Second Load-Migration Study

The Public Utility Commission of Texas asked ERCOT and SPP on Thursday to coordinate a joint study on Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative’s proposed transfer of most of its existing SPP transmission facilities and load into ERCOT (Docket 47342).

The East Texas co-op is an SPP member, but only about 150 MW (less than 20% of its load) and 160 miles of its transmission sit in the Eastern Interconnection. ERCOT estimates it will cost $38 million to connect the SPP load with the Texas grid.

ERCOT PUCT price formation

Transmission lines | Berkshire Hathaway Energy

Commissioner Ken Anderson said it would be “helpful” if the two RTOs would “give all of us — SPP, ERCOT and the commission — reasonable comfort as to what the costs, benefits and challenges are, if any — and to do it as quickly as humanly possible.”

“We can do that,” said Warren Lasher, ERCOT director of system planning. SPP was not represented at the meeting, but both RTOs are expected to report back with a study scope at the Aug. 31 open meeting.

The grid operators have already produced a similar, much larger study on Lubbock Power & Light’s proposed transition of its 430-MW load from SPP to ERCOT. The study indicated the transition would cost them nearly $370 million. (See Load Migrations Put SPP’s Focus on Retention.)

2nd Price Formation Workshop Scheduled

The PUC has scheduled a second staff-led workshop for Oct. 13 on price formation issues in the ERCOT market to pick up where the discussion left off earlier this month (Docket No. 47199). (See ERCOT, Regulators Discuss Need for Pricing Rule Changes.)

Stakeholders have been invited to submit alternate proposals and additional analysis in response to a report commissioned by independent power producers NRG Energy and Calpine, which asserts “a need for adjustments” to the market’s pricing rules. The report, “Priorities for the Evolution of an Energy-Only Electricity Market Design in ERCOT,” was the primary topic during the Aug. 10 workshop.

Staff on Friday filed a timeline for submitting comments, proposals and analyses. ERCOT’s Independent Market Monitor will file a paper fleshing out its proposal to address reliability-must-run issues with a local reserve product by Sept. 15; the ISO’s staff will submit a second filing on real-time co-optimization and scarcity pricing by Sept. 29.

Commission staff will then present a revised request for stakeholder comment during the PUC’s Oct. 26 open meeting.

The commission agreed a second workshop would allow them to be more specific in addressing the recommendations and studies. They also plan to conduct their own workshop at a date to be determined.

“We could … give participants a stronger reference point of what we’re working on, so their comments can be more targeted,” Commissioner Brandy Marty Marquez said.

“While I enjoy workshops as much as anybody, I don’t want this to devolve in an endless series,” Anderson said. “It would be my hope the October workshop will include any and all ideas and the reports that come in by the end of September.”

— Tom Kleckner