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Oncor: Hunt’s Possible Merger Could Boost Rates

The Texas Tribune

by Jim Malewitz
Oncor, the state’s largest utility, is warning state regulators that electric rates could increase for millions of Texas customers if state regulators approve a complex reorganization plan that would include its takeover of the much smaller, and struggling, Sharyland Utilities.
In a filing with the Texas Public Utility Commission Wednesday, Oncor, whose power lines serve three millions homes and businesses in North and West Texas, said its …

Sky-high Power Rates Spark Outrage in Rural Texas

The Texas Tribune

by Jim Malewitz

For four decades, Nancy Raney’s family has raised crops — mostly alfalfa hay right now — on wide-open land near Big Spring, about 40 miles northeast of Midland. She and her husband Hugh have run the farm for 16 of those years.
But if certain troubles persist, the couple may have to stop growing hay. Theirs, however, is not story of drought, weevils or other typical West Texas scourges.
This family’s bank-breaking trouble: skyrocketing electricity costs.
Running pumps to irrigate their fields from January to November sucks up plenty of energy along with the water. But the Raneys were …

ERCOT power prices seen hampering gas-fired projects


ERCOT power prices seen hampering gas-fired project development: sources
Developers continue to prepare to build natural gas-fired capacity in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas footprint, but low prices and the prospect of the construction of more tax-subsidized, low-cost renewable capacity has some wondering how many new gas-fired units will actually be financed and come online over the next few years.
“Market prices just don’t support financing for new [generation] assets today,” Jeff Schroeter, managing director at Dallas-based developer/consultant Genova Power Advisors, said Wednesday. “And now that the [federal production tax credit] for wind has …

Texas ERCOT staff, stakeholders mull scarcity price adder changes


In response to a Texas regulator’s concern that a price adder designed to ensure that sufficient generation reserves remain available has been too low during periods of scarcity, Electric Reliability Council of Texas stakeholders and staff have been analyzing several alternatives.
On Wednesday, the ERCOT Wholesale Market Subcommittee endorsed a report from the ERCOT Supply Adequacy Working Group that summarized analysis of possible changes to this adder, known as the Operating Reserve Demand Curve, but the analysis nevertheless …

In Texas power market, flighty customers pose challenge

The Dallas Morning News

by James Osborne
From television commercials to sales reps at the supermarket, the push to uproot Texans from those companies that have traditionally supplied electricity here continues to gain ground.
New data from the state’s grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, shows that the number of residential customers that have at some point left their incumbent electrical provider — for instance, TXU Energy in Dallas or Reliant in Houston — has now reached …

ERCOT sets two new wind power records


The Electric Reliability Council of Texas set a new wind-generation output record of 13,883 MW Sunday as well as a new record for percentage of load, the grid operator said Tuesday.
The record was set at 11:07 am CST Sunday and represented 41.27% of ERCOT’s load at the time, according to a report from ERCOT. This was the fourth such wind record set in as…