Market Information System Grid and Market Conditions

News Release

May 19, 2011

ERCOT NEWS: May Board Meeting Highlights


Board approves interim price cap for Valley

May 19, 2011, AUSTIN – The Board of Directors for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state grid operator and manager of the wholesale electric market, approved a temporary price cap revision for the Valley area and seven protocol changes at Tuesday’s monthly meeting. 

After a lengthy discussion, the board approved an interim methodology for setting the maximum shadow price on the Valley Import Constraint, effective May 25.   The board’s resolution also directed the Technical Advisory Committee to report back to the board on a recommendation for a holistic methodology for setting appropriate shadow price caps for constraints not resolvable by Security Constrained Economic Dispatch (SCED), and a recommendation for addressing gaps between operations and planning processes to indentify constraints not resolvable by SCED.

Seven protocol changes approved

Board members approved four Nodal Protocol Revision Requests (NPRRs), one System Change Request (SCR), one Nodal Operating Guide Revision Request (NOGRR), and one Planning Guide Revision Request (PGRR).  The changes approved included:

  • NPRR 306 – Revisions to Protected Information to Include Black Start Documents Considered Critical Energy Infrastructure Information;
  • NPRR 310 – Expand Output Schedule Acceptable Range to Include High Sustained Limit and Low Sustained Limit;
  • NPRR 350 – Change to the Security Classification of the System Ancillary Service Capacity Monitor Dashboard;
  • NPRR 352 – Real-Time High Sustained Limit Telemetry for Wind-powered Generation Resources;
  • SCR 764 – Public Access to Select Market Information System Dashboards;
  • NOGRR 054 – Change in Facilitator for the Annual Operations Training Seminar;
  • PGRR 004 – New Planning Guide Section 2, Synchronization with NPRR 291, Reduce the Comment Period for NPRRs and SCRs.

The Technical Advisory Committee Update included an update of the project prioritization list.

In other action, the board approved a revised Investment Corporate Standard.

Nodal prices indicate healthy market, CEO says

CEO Trip Doggett reported the pricing data for the five-month’s old nodal market continues to show a convergence of the day-ahead market prices with the real-time prices, indicating a healthy market. 

“The convergence of the two this early in the life of the new market is a very good sign of the health of our market,” Doggett said.   

Load-weighted Average Settlement Point Prices,

March 2011

Austin Energy Load Zone

CPS San Antonio Load Zone

LCRA Load Zone

Rayburn Electric Co-op Load Zone

Houston Load Zone

North Load Zone

South Load Zone

West Load Zone

Day-ahead Market ($/MWh)




















Other items from the CEO update included:

  • Transmission outages are significantly higher this year;  ERCOT has processed 31,262 outages year-to-date, almost surpassing the total for all of 2010 – 32,967;
  • ERCOT staff is working on several items to improve generator outage reporting, including improving the querying capability of the outage scheduler to retrieve generator outage data in a more timely and consistent manner;
  • ERCOT is planning to survey all generation owners on two hot weather scenarios:  1) 10 days of 105 degree temperatures across Texas in late August; 2) 10 days of 110 degree highs;  Staff plans to prepare an analysis based on the survey;
  • The April budget had a $6.5 million favorable variance, for a year-to-date favorable variance of $9.9 million.

Market monitor reports no market manipulation during February event

Dan Jones of Potomac Economics, the independent market monitor for the ERCOT region, briefed board members on his report on the Feb. 2 severe weather event, noting that he found no evidence of manipulative activity in his assessment of the wholesale market.   

The Texas Reliability Entity has also issued its report on the February events.

ERCOT staff reports

John Dumas, director of wholesale market operations, reported that ERCOT staff is reviewing the impact of different factors that may have caused a shortfall in the Congestion Revenue Rights market, and meeting with market participants to discuss the effectiveness and possible improvements of the outage submission process. 

Warren Lasher, manager of long-term planning, briefed board members on ERCOT’s evaluation of the potential impacts of proposed environmental regulations on generation facilities in ERCOT.  The 21-page report, “Review of the Potential Impacts of Proposed Environmental Regulations on the ERCOT System,” is available on in the News/Reports and Presentations section under Operations and System Planning.  (See news release here.) 

Other staff reports covered:


Former commissioner to lead stakeholder participation in DOE study

Paul Hudson, founder and principal of Stratus Energy and former chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, will be coordinating stakeholder involvement in ERCOT''s long-term transmission planning study, ERCOT announced this week. 

The study is a three-year effort, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), to evaluate the long-term transmission needs of the ERCOT region.  Hudson, who will be engaged on a part-time contract basis funded by DOE, will be responsible for increasing the overall participation of stakeholders in the study process.   

Hudson currently works with a variety of energy-related interests, providing strategic guidance and assessment to a range of cleantech, renewable and power industry efforts.   Prior to entering private practice, Hudson served as commissioner and chair on the Public Utility Commission from August 2003 to September 2008.  He previously served in other state policy roles including director of policy to Governor Rick Perry. 

“We are pleased that Paul has agreed to coordinate the Long-Term Study Task Force and other stakeholder outreach activities in the DOE study process.  His background makes him uniquely qualified to lead this important effort,” said Warren Lasher, manager of long-term planning for ERCOT.   “Stakeholders participating in the long-term study are not only helping us identify the issues that will affect the long-term energy needs of Texas, but are also helping us develop a framework to meet the future planning needs of the ERCOT system.” 

Follow ERCOT grid events on Twitter, Facebook

ERCOT is now using Twitter and Facebook for outreach during grid emergencies as well as to disseminate notices about reports, presentations, and news releases.  Notices about grid emergencies will automatically post on Twitter and Facebook.

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.