ERCOT - The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas - the agency charged with maintaining and operating the electricity grid in Texas - recently sought bids for power capacity additions in Texas for this winter. This was in the form of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Capacity for Winter 2023-24. None of the potential providers responded.
ERCOT identified some 20 facilities that have been "de-commissioned" or "mothballed" that might be restored to service so that they could be available during periods of peak demand this winter. This 20 facilities had potential capacity addition of as many as 2,000 megawatts. None of the companies that control those facilities submitted proposals to ERCOT during the RFP. ERCOT now says that they believe capacity will be adequate for Texas consumers during the upcoming winter. ERCOT President and CEO Pablo Vegas has said “ERCOT is not projecting emergency conditions this winter and expects to have adequate resources to meet demand.”
ERCOT has faced harsh criticism for the widespread power outages and blackouts that plagued Texas during the extreme weather event known as Winter Storm Uri in February of 2021. Recent growth in population and overall power demand has put ERCOT under additional scrutiny as they have called for conservation during extremely hot days in Texas in the summer of 2023.
In addition to capacity additions on the supply side, ERCOT is reviewing the potential to provide incentives to manage power demand during times of weather-related peak demand.