Diana Liebmann in San Antonio Express-News: Summer may see Texas left in the dark


Texas could see a repeat of the threat of rolling blackouts next summer, according to a report released Thursday by the state's grid operator, given the expected increased demand for power coupled with the number of power plants that will be unavailable to run...

The grid operator's biannual assessment of the next decade showed that power reserves — the extra capacity used to avert rolling outages — will fall below the minimum target next summer, doubling the chances of blackouts...

ERCOT's reserve target is 13.75 percent, providing a chsion for higher-than-normal temperatures and plant outages. But projected reserves are 12 percent for 2012 and 2013, dropping to just four percent by 2017...

Diana Liebmann, a partner with the Haynes and Boone law firm who represents clients before the PUC and ERCOT, called those reductions unacceptable.

"Significant steps need to be taken now to incentivize new generation to be built to avoid rolling outages and keep the system reliable." Right now, she said, "price signals in the market are too weak to reward new capacity for building."

Excerpt from the San Antonio Express-News, Dec. 2, 2011. To view the full article, click here.


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