||This Nodal Protocol Revision Request (NPRR) modifies Section 126.96.36.199 to align with section 37.056 of the Texas Utilities Code, as amended by SB1938 86(R), which became effective on May 16, 2019. As amended, section 37.056 authorizes the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) to grant a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) only to a Transmission Service Provider (TSP) that owns the Facilities to which a proposed Transmission Facility addition will interconnect, or to the lawful designee of such a TSP. If more than one TSP owns Facilities to which a proposed addition will interconnect, the PUCT may issue a CCN to each such TSP to construct the needed Facilities in “separate and discrete equal parts,” unless the TSPs agree to a different allocation of responsibility.
SB1938’s allocation of project responsibility based on ownership of the Facilities to which an addition interconnects is consistent with the Protocols’ longstanding assignment of responsibility based on ownership of the Facility endpoints. For the sake of consistency, however, ERCOT proposes to revise Section 188.8.131.52 to more closely comport with the language of the statute. ERCOT notes that revised Section 184.108.40.206 applies not only to those projects requiring a CCN, but also to other Tier 1 projects that may not require a CCN and therefore do not come within the coverage of section 37.056. This is consistent with the Protocols’ existing allocation rules, which have long assigned responsibility for all Tier 1 and 2 projects.
ERCOT proposes to incorporate section 37.056’s assignment rules into a new paragraph (2). ERCOT proposes to modify paragraph (1) to recognize that ERCOT’s role, upon completing an independent review, is simply to identify the owners of the existing facilities, rather than to formally designate transmission providers. ERCOT also proposes to remove language from paragraph (1) which contemplates that ERCOT may determine project responsibility in the event of a disagreement between TSPs and may assign responsibility to a new TSP when the originally assigned TSP has not diligently pursued the project. Both of these provisions are inconsistent with SB1938, which contemplates no such role for ERCOT. ERCOT also proposes new paragraph (3), which would establish an explicit mandate that the TSP diligenty pursue the project. Although such a mandate is already implicit in provisions that establish the designation of providers, ERCOT suggests that stating this more explicitly will provide greater transparency that responsibility for a project entails a duty to pursue the completion of that project. ERCOT notes that “TSP” as used in the Protocols includes Municipally Owned Utilities (MOUs) and Electric Cooperatives (ECs).
Finally, ERCOT proposes revisions to Section 220.127.116.11, Regional Planning Group Acceptance and ERCOT Endorsement, to provide that ERCOT will issue a Market Notice instead of sending an acceptance letter or endorsement letter, following Regional Planning Group (RPG) acceptance of Tier 3 projects, and ERCOT’s endorsement of Tier 1 and Tier 2 projects. This change will ensure that all TSPs (and other Market Participants) receive documentation showing completion of the ERCOT review process.
ERCOT notes that because SB1938 is already effective, ERCOT must comply with the amended statute irrespective of the status of this NPRR. Thus, to the limited extent ERCOT’s existing Protocols conflict with the statute, ERCOT is already precluded from complying with those provisions. ERCOT is currently developing independent review reports for several projects and will ensure that its processes comport with the amended statute as it develops those reports over the next few months.