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Texas PUC Issues Notices Of Violations, With Sought Penalties Over $7.6 Million, To Eight Generators Concerning Weather Readiness Reports

December 8, 2021

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Copyright 2010-21
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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The executive director of the Public Utility Commission of Texas has filed separate Notices of Violations (NOV) against eight power generation companies for their alleged failure to file winter weather readiness reports by the December 1, 2021 deadline

The NOVs do not represent final action by the PUC. Entities served with an NOV have 20 days to respond to the NOV and may contest the NOV through a hearing.

Generally, the NOVs allege that the PGCs violated 16 TAC § 25.55(c)(2) by failing to submit to ERCOT required winter weather emergency preparedness information for one or more generation resources (the varying sought penalties noted below are generally due to the number of resources associated with each NOV). The NOVs do not address compliance with any weatherization standards, but the reporting of the PGC's weather readiness

The entities to which NOVs were issued are as follows (current sought penalties noted, full NOVs linked):

BT Cooke Solar LLC: $550,000

Bull Creek Wind LLC: $1,100,000

Cotton Plains Wind I LLC: $725,000

Lamesa Solar II, LLC: $550,000

Midway Solar, LLC: $550,000

OCI Alamo 1, LLC: $1,100,000

Shell Oil Company: $2,375,000

Texas Big Spring LP: $725,000

While the amounts listed above reflect PUCT Staff's recommended penalties for violations to date, PUCT Staff allege that the violations are continuing in the nature until such time as the PGCs come into compliance, and Staff recommends adding further daily penalties to the PGCs for any continued non-compliance

Shell provided the following statement concerning the matter:

"Shell’s generation assets have weatherization plans in place and are prepared to operate in the event of extreme weather. We recognize the importance of clearly documenting weatherization plans for generation assets in ERCOT, including by completing the required winter weather readiness report. Each of our assets referenced in the PUC document has such a plan and has implemented the weatherization standards described in the PUC’s Weather Emergency Preparedness Rule. Shell takes its regulatory obligations seriously and will be actively working with the PUC and ERCOT to ensure the appropriate winter weather readiness report is submitted."

--- Statement from Shell

Apex Clean Energy, Inc., as asset manager of Cotton Plains Wind I, LLC, provided the following statement concerning the matter:

"As the asset managers of Cotton Plains Wind I, LLC, we are aware of the Commission’s Notice of Violation for the project. We believe there have been some administrative misunderstandings, and we are working with the Commission to resolve the matter."

--- Statement from Apex Clean Energy, regarding Cotton Plains Wind I

The PUCT said that, out of the 850 generation resources in the state, the PUCT’s Division of Compliance and Enforcement identified 13 separate generation resources owned by these 8 companies that allegedly missed the deadline.

The PUCT said that these 13 resources have the ability to generate 801 MW of electricity out of the state’s total installed capacity of 120,000 MW, or less than one percent of the state’s total.

"Texans expect the power plants in our state to be better prepared for winter weather," said PUC Executive Director Thomas Gleeson. "The Governor and Legislature provided us the tools to improve the stability of our grid and our commissioners have been abundantly clear that they expect generation entities to get ready for this winter. The PUCT cannot tolerate the failure of these companies to even file their readiness reports."

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