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Mistakes in electricity market only cut one way in Texas

Houston Chronicle By Chris Tomlinson

Grid operator reluctant to claw back consumer’s money from generators

People make mistakes. That’s why a well-designed system makes it easy to correct mistakes simply and quickly when they happen.
Houston Public Media reported this morning a mistake that cost electricity customers tens of millions of dollars and enriched power companies, and how the Texas wholesale market has failed to correct the mistake. The scoop is a reminder of what happens when public servants become too …

PUC looks into Oncor’s role in electricity price spike

Dallas Morning News by James Osborne

The Texas Public Utility Commission is investigating a spike in electricity prices last month to see whether bad data from the transmission line company Oncor played a role.
According to a report earlier this month by a group of power companies and regulators, on May 18 wholesale power prices rose unexpectedly when data provided by Oncor showed a transmission line in West Texas was nearing capacity. Only the company had failed to update their data to show a recent upgrade to the line. Over six hours, the error resulted in $4.8 million in…

Texas passes bill giving PUC wind transmission oversight; bill to end RPS dies


A Texas bill to give the state Public Utility Commission oversight of transmission projects designed to export wind power from or into the Electric Reliability Council of Texas region is headed to the governor’s desk after being approved by the state’s House of Representatives.
However, a Senate-passed bill that would have eliminated the state’s renewable portfolio standard and forbidden the PUC from either establishing new “competitive renewable energy zones” or approving new CREZ transmission lines was derailed by the…

New power grid manager now open at Little Rock

Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A nonprofit company that manages the power grid from the Gulf Coast to Manitoba says it has officially transferred its South operations from its main control center in Carmel, Indiana, to its new Little Rock operations center.
The Midcontinent Independent System Operator says the transfer was made at midnight Sunday and will help keep utility costs down.
The $22 million, 50,000-square-foot center has…

“Demand Response” Holds Key to $200 Million in Electric Savings


Report: “Demand Response” Holds Key to $200 Million in Electric Savings

More than $200 million — that’s the amount all Texans could have saved if a modest number of them had reduced their electric consumption for only five days in 2012 and 2013, according to a new report.
An advocacy group known as SPEER (also known as South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource) found in a report released this week that several expensive-to-operate power plants could have remained idle if some Texans had reduced their power demand during a few hours on certain key days. Avoiding the use of those expensive-to-operate power plants would…

Some power generators in PJM showed signs of ‘economic withholding’


PJM Interconnection energy prices were lower in the first quarter of this year than in Q1 2014, but some generators showed signs of “economic withholding” in February, the market monitor said in a newly released report.
Monitoring Analytics, PJM’s IMM, concluded in its latest State of the Market Report — posted on the Monitoring Analytics website Monday — that the market produced competitive results in Q1.
Lower fuel prices, lighter loads and improved grid operations caused energy market prices to decrease significantly in the first quarter, Monitoring Analytics said, down 45.2% compared with the same quarter of…