Texas co-op eyes more purchases of power in ERCOT markets
Low wholesale power prices in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ markets may well lead Pedernales Electric Cooperative to secure more of its power needs from the wholesale market and less from its primary supplier, the Lower Colorado River Authority, the co-op’s vice president of power supply and energy services said.
Ingmar Sterzing said in an interview that while the co-op is under contract to buy up to 100% of its power needs from LCRA through 2041, a provision in the contract allows the co-op to secure as much as 35% of its needs from other sources.
“We currently buy 15% of our needs from others,” including Calpine and Constellation, he said, noting that PEC’s next opportunity under its LCRA contract to increase how much power it purchases from others will come in July 2016.
ERCOT power prices have been low relative to the cost of power purchased from LCRA and “we’d like to take advantage of that,” said Sterzing, suggesting that PEC may benefit from buying more power “in the near-term” from other generators in ERCOT and less from LCRA.