News Release

August 31, 2009

ERCOT Announces On-time Launch of First Core Nodal System

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, grid operator for most of the state, today successfully activated the single-entry model – the first of the core systems that will support the state’s nodal-based market, scheduled for implementation in December 2010. 

The single-entry model (SEM) is an electric-transmission management system where utilities owning equipment on the grid can interactively view and update the ERCOT transmission model concerning changes to the grid such as new transmission lines, substations, and other equipment. 

The SEM went live before 8 a.m., meeting the implementation program’s Aug. 31, 2009 deadline. The current nodal and zonal models will be synchronized and maintained in parallel until nodal go-live in late 2010, at which point the zonal systems will be retired. 

“This is a big day for ERCOT and our market participants.  The system is up, participants are submitting change requests, and we have brought our first major nodal system live,” ERCOT Chief Technology Officer Mike Cleary said.  “It is a good start, but we still have a lot of hard work in front of us.  We continue to focus on delivering the entire nodal system, on time and under budget.” 

ERCOT has been working with its market participants since June to complete training and testing of the SEM.  During the SEM’s critical first two weeks, ERCOT will provide extended hours of support and escalated response times. 

The ERCOT Board of Directors and the Technical Advisory Committee, a sub-committee of the Board, both approved SEM go-live on August 18.

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 710+ 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.

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