News Release

    December 17, 2010

    ERCOT NEWS: December Board Meeting Highlights


    Nodal market launch ‘extremely smooth’

    December 17, 2010, Austin – The nodal market launch has been “extremely smooth,” the Electric Reliability Council of Texas management reported at Tuesday’s monthly board meeting. 

    Trip Doggett, CEO for ERCOT, the grid operator and manager of the electric market, told board members that the system operators were pleased with the improved systems for controlling frequency and managing transmission congestion.   Nodal day-ahead prices have paralleled real-time prices, and nodal prices were less volatile and generally lower compared to a similar day in December 2009, Doggett reported

    ERCOT managers noted that participation in the day-ahead market had increased significantly, compared to the market trials before the Dec. 1 “go-live.”  Participants in the day-ahead market have ranged from 130-140 in December, compared to 25-30 leading up to the launch. 

     “We have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of activity in the day-ahead market,” said John Dumas, director of wholesale markets.  “This is a very good indication that market participants are hedging themselves in the day-ahead market.”   

    The wholesale market operations update also included the results of the December congestion revenue rights auction:  99,140 bids, 20,176 auction awards, 199,204 megawatts, and $13.5 million total auction/allocation revenue.

    Current projects reviewed

    In a new business integration report, ERCOT staff provided an overview of major projects underway:

    • Nodal Stabilization:  Evaluate and remediate nodal operational issues, Dec. 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011;
    • Data Center Migration:  Replace data center hardware that is approaching end of life and migrate hardware to new Taylor and Bastrop data centers, October 2009 – December 2011;
    • Planning Model:  Build annual planning models from the Network Model Management System database also used to build the Network Operations Model, Dec. 1, 2010 – April 1, 2011;
    • Deferred Defects: Evaluate and remediate the priority-three nodal project items that were deferred prior to go-live, Dec. 1, 2010 – Sept. 30, 2011.

    Two protocol revisions approved

    The board approved two nodal protocol revision requests (NPRRs):

    • NPRR 295 – Synchronization of Protocol for Generation Resource Designation as Mothballed or Decommissioned
    • NPRR 293 – Requirement to Post Point-to-Point Obligation Quantities Awarded in the Day-Ahead Market, approved with ERCOT comments

    In other action, the board approved a Reliability Monitor Services Agreement , a three-year agreement between ERCOT, the Public Utility Commission and Texas Reliability Entity (TRE) for TRE to provide monitoring services.   The board also approved an adjunct membership for Panda Power Funds. 

    CREZ reactive study discussion postponed to January

    The board deferred discussion of ERCOT staff’s Competitive Renewable Energy Zone Reactive Study until January to allow more time for board review and discussion and to give ERCOT staff time to provide additional information requested by the board. 

    Monthly staff reports included:

    Also online:

    ERCOT membership approves 2011 board at annual meeting

    The board meeting was adjourned mid-morning to accommodate the ERCOT annual membership meeting.  The ERCOT membership approved board members for 2011, including three new segment alternates: Kevin Gresham, E.On Climate & Renewables, for the generators’ segment; Jeff Brown, Shell Energy North America, for the power marketer’s segment; and Eric Hendrick, Stream Energy, for the retail electric provider segment.  In addition, the 2011 Technical Advisory Committee members were announced, with new members in the generators’ segment and the power marketers’ segment. 

    The membership also approved a resolution commending ERCOT staff for an excellent job in developing and implementing the nodal market, echoing a similar resolution passed by the ERCOT board.

    The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 25 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 600+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for 7 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.