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Texas Retail Providers Urge PUC To Extend Time For Rehearing Of $9,000 Pricing Decisions, If Commission Does Not Act By Standard Deadline, To Allow Lawmakers To Further Address Issue

March 26, 2021

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Copyright 2010-21
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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A Coalition of Competitive Retail Electric Providers (CCR) filed comments in support of a motion, filed by Exelon Generation, for rehearing of the Texas PUC's decisions February 15 and 16, 2021 which had the effect of setting ERCOT energy market prices at $9,000 per MWh during the winter weather event

CCR further said that if the PUC has not granted the motion for rehearing on or before April 12, 2021 (the last day that the PUC can extend the rehearing deadline), the PUC should grant an extension of time to act on the motions, "so that state leaders and a new Commission can consider the important issues raised on rehearing."

"Through the rehearing process, the Commission can allow the Texas Legislature to have another tool with which to do its legislative work in fashioning relief. The Commission should grant the Exelon Motions for Rehearing, review the Orders, and provide appropriate relief for the unlawful market interruption and $9000 price setting," CCR said

"CCR urges the Commission to maintain maximum flexibility through the rehearing processes so that the Orders can be reconsidered by new Commissioners and the Texas Legislature can provide direction. New commissioners should be able to scrutinize the actions taken by the Commission in response to winter storm Uri -- particularly, those actions reflected iii the Orders and their implementation by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). After that review, a new Commission should (i) grant pending Motions for Rehearing in Projects 51812 and 50500; (ii) find that the Orders were unlawful violations of the Texas Administrative Procedure Act, the Public Utility Regulatory Act ('PURA'), Commission rules, and due process rights; and were not reasonably supported by evidence; and (iii) vacate, or at least modify, the Orders; and (iv) conduct contested cases or rulemakings as needed," CCR said

"State leaders are still considering solutions and should be allowed the maximum opportunity to craft legislative directives that the PUC implement the Independent Market Monitor's (IMM) recommendations and/or securitization or something else. Rehearing processes allow legislators to have all options on the table. Rehearing further allows new commissioners to review the Commission's actions taken in February and make decisions to remedy the violations of law described above and in the pending Motions for Rehearing," CCR said

"By granting the Motions for Rehearing, the Commission has an opportunity to vacate the Orders which interrupted market principles and disregarded laws governing the Commission and ERCOT protocols on which market participants relied. The Commission may also 'modify, correct or reform' those Orders as necessary," CCR said

"Exelon's first Motion for Rehearing will be overruled by operation of law after the 55th day after the date of the February 15 Order. If the date lies on a Saturday or Sunday, the date is extended to the next weekday. The 55th date after the February 15th Order is Sunday, April 11, 2021, so the final date before the Motion is overruled by operation of law is Monday, April 12, 2011. The Commission should extend time for ruling on the Motions for Rehearing by this date," CCR said

"There is also a later opportunity for the Commission to act. The Commission has until the 10th day after the period for taking agency action to extend the date for consideration for the Motion for Rehearing. Accordingly, the Commission has until April 22, 2021, to extend the date for consideration for the first Motion for Rehearing. The Commission may do so on its own initiative and without any motion filed by a party. The Commission may extend the date of consideration to no later than 100 days after the date of the order. So the Commission can extend the date for reconsideration to as late as May 26,2021," CCR said

In supporting rehearing, CCR made several of the arguments raised in Exelon's original request, as discussed in our prior story here

REPs included in CCR are:

• AP Gas & Electric (TX) LLC

• ATG Clean Energy Holdings Inc.

• Brooklet Energy Distribution LLC

• Liberty Power

• Pogo Energy LLC

• Summer Energy LLC

• Varsity Energy LLC

• Volt Electricity Provider LP

• Windrose Power and Gas, LLC

• Young Energy, LLC d/b/a Payless Power

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