AUSTIN, Texas — The Public Utility Commission of Texas has filed violation reports against eight generation companies across the state for failing to file "winter readiness reports" by the Dec. 1 deadline. The PUC is recommending more than $7.5 million in fines against those companies.
According to a press release, the PUC said the eight companies that missed the deadline collectively own 13 generation resources. Across Texas, there are 850 generation resources.
While this does not mean those companies have not taken the steps to weatherize their facilities, the PUC said the winter weather readiness reports are critical to ensure the generation fleet in Texas is more prepared to provide service through severe winter weather. The PUC said in October it is requiring companies to take action to prepare for severe weather.
At a press conference on Dec. 8, a leader with ERCOT said the agency intends to inspect more than 300 generating units and 21 transmission providers by Dec. 29. Those inspections will comprise 85% of the lost megawatt-hours during the storm in early 2021.
As of Dec. 8, inspectors have gone through 55 generating units and two transmission service providers.
Additionally, ERCOT leaders said they are increasing penalties for power companies. They said companies will be penalized up to $1 million per day "per incident." He said the generators that have not been proactive in preparing for winter will be penalized "swiftly and heavily."
"As a culmination of these efforts, the ERCOT grid is stronger and more reliable than ever," he said. "We go into this winter knowing that, because of all these efforts, the lights will stay on.
He said that in the event of a future emergency such as the severe weather in February 2021, representatives from ERCOT, the PUC, the Railroad Commission, the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will be "shoulder to shoulder in our state operations center to ensure that those agencies and those industries have a central point of communication to provide the best possible services to Texans."
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