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ERCOT Authorizes TDSPs To Restore All Load Associated With Feb. 15 EEA; But EEA3 Condition To Remain Through Friday Morning Peak

February 18, 2021

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Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • ring@energychoicematters.com

The following story is brought free of charge to readers by EC Infosystems, the exclusive EDI provider of EnergyChoiceMatters.com

ERCOT said in a Feb. 18 market notice that it has, "authorized the Transmission and Distribution Service Providers to restore all Load associated with the EEA that was declared on Monday, February 15, 2021."

However, while ERCOT has provided such authorization, ERCOT noted that, "many customers have not yet been re-energized." As noted below, TDUs have separately reported outages remain due to delivery system damage from a Wednesday storm

ERCOT further stated in the market notice that, "As a result, ERCOT will remain in EEA3 through at least the morning peak period on Friday, February 19, 2021."

In a news release, ERCOT said that while there is no additional load shed occurring at this time, a little over 40,000 MW of generation remains on forced outage due to this winter weather event. Of that, 23,500 MW is thermal generation and the rest is wind and solar. It is possible that some level of rotating outages may be needed over the next couple of days to keep the grid stable.

ERCOT said that customers that remain without power likely fall into one of these three categories:

-- Areas out due to ice storm damage on the distribution system

-- Areas that were taken out of service due to the energy emergency load shed that need to be restored manually (i.e., sending a crew to the location to re-energize the line)

-- Large industrial facilities that voluntarily went offline to help during this energy emergency

"This Market Notice is to provide contemporaneous notification to Market Participants that ERCOT will continue adjusting the RTBLTIMPORT component of the Real-Time Reliability Deployment Price Adder accordingly. Upon exiting EEA3, ERCOT will return to utilizing the RTBLTIMPORT component solely for any Block-Load Transfer imports into ERCOT. When ERCOT exits EEA3, it will notify the Market via a subsequent Market Notice," ERCOT stated in the notice

As previously reported, ERCOT implemented a change to its scarcity pricing mechanism on February 15, 2021 to better, "ensure that firm load that is being shed in EEA3 is accounted for in ERCOT’s scarcity pricing signals." ERCOT made this change in accordance with the Public Utility Commission of Texas orders of February 15, 2021, and February 16, 2021. In this change, ERCOT adjusted certain inputs to the Real-Time Reliability Deployment Price Adder to account for firm Load shed ordered by ERCOT as necessary during Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 3 (EEA3). To make use of existing system functionality, and strictly for purposes of the Real-Time Reliability Deployment Price Adder process, firm Load shed was reflected as Real-Time Block Load Transfer import (RTBLTIMPORT) and appeared as such in market-facing reporting.

With respect to ERCOT's direction to the TDSPs to restore all load associated with the EEA, Oncor on Feb. 18 said in a tweet that ERCOT, "directed Oncor and other utilities to begin restoring power previously dropped from the electric grid."

"As a result of the increased generation and stable demand, Oncor has since been able to cease controlled, or rotating, outages," Oncor said

Oncor said that, "There are approx 150,000 remaining customers w/o power- this is the result of damage from Wednesday winter storm, previous winter weather/storm damage that couldn't be identified until equipment was re-energized & damage to electric equipment caused by record-breaking low temps."

CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric said in a Feb. 18 tweet, "Currently under 115,000 customers remain without power."

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