Texas adopts rules for natgas/power coordination to avoid Feb freeze
The Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas adopted rules to increase coordination between the natural gas and electricity industries to avoid blackouts and other energy emergencies like last winter’s February freeze.
The rules are the latest in a series of federal and state measures to prevent a repeat of the disruption caused by February’s Winter Storm Uri, which killed more than 100 people and left around 4.5 million homes and businesses in Texas without power and heat – in many cases for days.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates most of the state’s power grid, ordered rolling blackouts to prevent the grid from collapsing as extreme cold shut power plants and froze gas pipelines.
At the same time, power and gas prices soared to record highs in parts of Texas and in other U.S. Central states during the storm, costing utilities and their consumers billions of dollars that will have to be paid back over several years.