Texas PUC declines to take action in response to report on $16 billion in additional costs

March 8, 2021

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
March 8, 2021

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) declined to take action in response to a report from the independent market monitor (IMM) for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) that a decision by ERCOT resulted in $16 billion in additional costs to ERCOT’s market, of which roughly $1.5 billion was billed to load-serving entities (LSEs) to provide make-whole payments to generators for energy that was not needed or produced.

“I think these are difficult decisions and they always have been,” said PUCT Chairman Arthur D’Andrea in commenting on repricing requests made by the IMM at a March 5 PUCT meeting.

“The IMM raised some good points and I think they’re very interesting and so we definitely should consider them,” he said.

With respect to the IMM’s suggestion of repricing the energy market, “it’s my understanding that unless we wanted to really disrupt the ICE [Intercontinental Exchange] markets, their deadline is today at 4 and so we would have to decide that now if we wanted to reprice that and I’m not inclined to do it today,” D’Andrea said.

“We did get a letter” from Texas Sen. Drew Springer “addressing this issue and I’m so grateful for legislative feedback on these questions,” he said. “On this question right now, we need to be just standing shoulder to shoulder with them. There cannot be any daylight between us,” D’Andrea said.

“On my part, I don’t intend to make any huge decisions without talking to all of them first,” he said

The PUCT didn’t vote to reject the IMM’s suggestion, “leaving the door open for a change of policy in coming weeks,” the Wall Street Journal noted in a March 5 article.