Why Texas Could Be Next In Electricity Market Reform
While all eyes have lately been focused on places like New York, California, and Hawaii, last month, the opening bell in Texas for that state’s “electric power market 2.0” began with little more than an energy-wonk whisper. It came as a proposed report outline from the Texas grid operator’s (ERCOT) staff. That may seem insignificant, but ERCOT’s larger rule revisions often start with, and tie directly to, concept reports. So this forthcoming paper could indeed be the starting gun for major new DER market participation.
Just a few days before the ERCOT proposal, RMI, HOMER Energy, and partners released The Economics of Load Defection. It forecasted solar-plus-storage economics outcompeting grid power for increasing and eventually substantial portions of customers’ load in the years ahead. That underscored a growing urgency for changes in distributed energy resource (DER) pricing, utility business models, and/or regulatory structures to allow for better consumer value and grid participation of DERs. ERCOT’s actions, if adopted, should cement Texas’s path toward an integrated grid (see upper path, below).