The committee appears to support the plan to redesign the energy market

The Texas Public Utilities Commission on Thursday appeared to lean on a so-called performance credit model to overhaul the state’s electricity market, removing four others
Proposals the Commission has been reviewing for months
and pave the way for sweeping changes to the Texas energy system.

The legislature in this session will ultimately decide how to modify the Texas Reliability Board’s power grid to avoid the kind of blackouts seen during
2021 freeze
that plunged millions into pitch darkness for days. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has said that spurring the construction of new natural gas power plants is among his top legislative priorities.

It was not clear how any eventual plan would affect city-owned clients
CPS Energy of San Antonio. PUC was still discussing its options Thursday afternoon.

Submitted by the PUC in November after it had been considering other plans for months, the Performance Credit Mechanism would award power generators for being available during certain hours on days with the lowest power reserve margins. These credits will be paid for by retail electricity providers and companies that sell residential power schemes and whose names appear on monthly electricity bills, as well as cooperatives and municipal utilities.


Today’s PUC vote could shake up ERCOT. Here’s a look at what’s on the table — and what it means

Over the past year, PUC and others have been discussing the merits of three plans to transform the energy market. Known as Backstop Reliability Service, Detachable Power Credits and Load Service Entity Commitment. Then, in November, a report commissioned by the PUC added two new options—a Performance Credit Mechanism, a Backstop Reliability Service Plan, and a Demountable Energy Credits Plan.

CPS did not respond to inquiries about whether it supports the performance credit model or how it might be affected by the market redesign. So it’s not clear how San Antonio home utility bills might be affected by the changes. A consultant’s estimate indicates that the model will add
$460 million in costs that Texas taxpayers will have to bear
in the form of higher bills.

In October, CPS declined to comment on the market’s redesign proposals, saying it was awaiting a report from a PUC consultant that would include technical details on the various redesign options. CPS has not publicly commented on the process since.

However, CPS appears to be trying to interact less with the statewide energy market that PUC is redesigning.

The Utility Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote Monday on a plan that would add CPS approximately 2,220 megawatts of natural gas-fired power and nearly 1,100 megawatts of solar power generation this decade. That’s enough capacity to power about 600,000 homes on a summer’s day.

While other energy portfolios have considered would reduce pollution more quickly in San Antonio, CPS directors and Mayor Ron Nirenberg emphasized that CPS needs to run its gas-fired power plants for more decades to avoid potentially volatile prices in the ERCOT energy market.

“If you no longer have natural gas assets that you control, you can count on them for events like (Winter Storm Uri in February 2021) … you buy whatever the price is in the market,” Garza told city council members. week.

Nirenberg made a similar argument in favor of the proposed CPS plan last week.

“People want to make sure we can keep the lights on in San Antonio at a reasonable cost,” he said. “In this scenario, we’d have more of that capability ourselves.”

Author Shelby Webb contributed to this article.

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