News Release

June 21, 2006

ERCOT at a Glance: News Update - June 21, 2006


Board Meeting Highlights

Board Approves Two Urgent Protocol Revisions

The ERCOT Board of Directors approved two protocol revision requests (PRR) at its monthly meeting Tuesday:

  • PRR661 creates performance enforcement criteria; intended to eliminate price shock if a large qualified scheduling entity (QSE) is eliminated from the ancillary services market
  • PRR662 modifies ancillary service deployment performance conditions; intended to avoid improper disqualification of a QSE and unnecessary depletion of ancillary service bid stacks, resulting in higher prices expected from tighter supply.

Both PRRs were passed on an urgent status and are effective July 1, 2006.  PRR650, related to balancing energy price adjustment due to non-spinning reserve service energy deployment, was remanded to TAC for further discussion.

Hurricane Preparedness

Interim CEO Sam Jones briefed the board on hurricane preparedness, including a report on the operations hurricane drill conducted in the ERCOT Region, May 8-10. Almost 250 people participated, representing 22 companies and including 66 certified operators.  The Reliability Operations Subcommittee has reviewed the results from the hurricane drill in addition to lessons learned from last year’s hurricanes, Jones said.

Jones also reported on plans for market and public communications in advance of a hurricane, including the use of the Web site and 24-hour hotlines for posting hurricane updates.  Other steps would include scheduling market participant conference calls before and during landfall, and maintaining communications with the State Operations Center, Public Utility Commission and Legislative leadership.  ERCOT plans to conduct an internal drill of emergency communications on July 14.

Other Action

Board Chairman Mark Armentrout recognized departing board member Darrell Hayslip who is leaving Calpine Corp. at the end of June.  Hayslip introduced William Taylor of Calpine Corp. who will fill the position of independent generator representative on the board.

Armentrout also recognized departing General Counsel Carolyn Shellman, who has accepted the general counsel position at CPS Energy in San Antonio.

The next board meeting will be July 18.  Tentative agenda items include discussion of the independent market monitor scope and implementation schedule and ERCOT''s 2007 budget process timeline.

Interconnection Requests Increase by 8,342 MW in May

ERCOT received 10 new generation interconnection requests for screening studies in May, an increase of 8,342 megawatts (MW), according to the May System Planning Report.  The total capacity in all active generation interconnection requests is 36,207 MW.

Other highlights of the report include:

  • New Wind Generation in Operation:  Red Canyon 1, an 84 MW wind farm in Borden County went into commercial operation in May.
  • Reliability-Must-Run (RMR) Contract for Atkins Units:  ERCOT entered into an RMR contract for 97 MW of generation capacity from Atkins #4, #5, and #6 until Oct. 31, 2006 to ensure reliability in the Bryan/College Station area. 
  • Potential Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZs) Under Review:  Maps and associated wind power characteristics for areas to be evaluated as potential CREZs were provided to the ERCOT regional planning groups for review and comment June 2. 

The May System Planning Report is posted on the ERCOT Web site with the June ROS meeting documents.

ERCOT 2005 Annual Report on Web Site

ERCOT''s 2005 Annual Report has been posted on the ERCOT Web site.  In addition to audited financial statements from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the report includes a snapshot of 2005 events and accomplishments.  Charts in the report cover reserve margins and peak demands, 1999-2010; transmission improvements, 2004-10; generation capacity by fuel type; market participant growth, 2001-05; congestion costs; balancing energy; invoice totals, customer switching, energy consumption, 1994-2005; and the system administration fee, 2001-06.

The 2005 Annual Report is posted in the News Room Reports and Presentations section of the Web site.

ERCOT Meeting Calendar

June 2006

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers -- representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 650+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for nearly 8 million premises in competitive choice areas.

ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.