Texas Gov. Makes Another Appointment To Texas PUC, To Be Chair
During Confirmation Hearing, Earlier PUC Nominee McAdams "Agrees" Extended $9,000 Pricing Was Wrong
April 12, 2021 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
The following story is brought free of charge to readers byEC Infosystems, the exclusive EDI provider of EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Peter Lake to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) for a term set to expire September 1, 2023.
If confirmed by the Senate, the Governor will designate Lake as Chairman of the PUC.
Lake is the former head of business development at Lake Ronel Oil Company, and previously served as director of special projects for VantageCap Partners.
Lake also worked as a trader and director of research at Gambit Trading, a member firm of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange specializing in futures and other derivatives.
Lake has served on the Texas Water Development Board since December 2015, and as chairman since 2018.
Separately, during a Senate confirmation hearing, Will McAdams, a nominee of Governor Abbott to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, agreed that continued administrative pricing at $9,000 per MWh after rolling outages had ended during the recent weather event was wrong, but said that re-pricing would be difficult outside of a 30-day period after the event.
The Senate Committee on Nominations today favorably recommended McAdams's nomination to full senate for confirmation
Under questioning, McAdams said of the pricing at $9,000, "I can't see ultimately what the objective was at holding at that level," after rolling outages had ended, though he said that PUC Commissioners may have had access to data that he is not privy to which led to the decision.
McAdams noted that the system had 16,000 MW of reserves on at the time a decision was made to continue the $9,000 pricing. "I don't see myself making that decision with the facts that I have now," McAdams said
Noting the amount of generation with mechanical failures, McAdams said, "it's hard to see what you would be incenting to come back into the market," with the extended $9,000 pricing.
In any changes to the market, McAdams stressed, however, that he wants to make sure that, "we don't want to disincent," generation from supplying power when the system needs it
Asked specifically by a senator, in recounting a prior conversation with the senator, to affirm that McAdams believes that holding at $9,000 for an additional 32 hours was wrong, McAdams said, "I agree."
McAdams also agreed that PURA 39.151(d) provided the PUC with authority to correct ERCOT prices within 30 days
However, McAdams said that 39.151(d) is not unlimited and that re-pricing after such time would be "difficult" for anyone owed financial obligations
Speaking generally about the agency, McAdams said that policymakers have an opportunity to establish regulatory guardrails that would provide meaningful protections for consumers while establishing expectations that the industry could adapt to and thrive in
McAdams said that he would reaffirm the agency's "core mission" of protecting the interest of consumers and the reliability of Texas's essential services
Speaking specifically about securitization, McAdams only mentioned non opt-in entities (co-ops)
McAdams also listed as a priority giving the PUC tools to integrate renewables, such as by pairing them with dispatchable generation to firm-up intermittent power