The Electrical Utility Fee acquired an replace final week on legislative motion associated to electrical utilities, with Senate Bill 3 serving because the omnibus response invoice to Winter Storm Uri in mid-February.
SB 3, authorized on the shut of the common session in Could, enacts plenty of new necessities for electrical technology vegetation, transmission suppliers, water utilities, fuel pipelines and fuel provide chain amenities, in addition to new calls for for emergency preparedness operations.
An unsuccessful modification to the invoice sought to saddle renewable vitality turbines with elevated prices, despite the fact that the most important lower in technology capability got here from fossil gas operations in the course of the winter storm. The modification was stripped out, however Gov. Greg Abbott later instructed the state’s Public Utility Fee to require photo voltaic and wind corporations to pay for energy once they’re unable to contribute to the state’s energy grid.
Key provisions of the laws embody the institution of an vitality emergency alert system, and a requirement that utility suppliers defer assortment of payments throughout excessive climate occasions and work with clients to arrange pay schedules. The invoice additional requires the weatherization of all technology, transmission and pure fuel vegetation and pipelines, and requires turbines to request approval earlier than conducting upkeep throughout peak summer time and winter temperatures and requires the creation of a state vitality plan.
One other high-profile invoice, SB 2, was touted as a reform measure to tighten and add extra transparency to the operations of the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas, though the invoice assigns extra political energy to the state’s high elected officers. The measure reduces the variety of ERCOT board seats from 16 to 11, three of whom could be chosen by a range committee appointed by the governor, the lieutenant governor and Home speaker. The committee would depend on an out of doors marketing consultant to pick the remaining eight members.
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