Bloomberg: Tesla is quietly plugging a mega-battery into the Texas power grid
March 9 — Elon Musk is getting into the Texas power market, with previously unrevealed construction of a gigantic battery connected to an ailing electric grid that nearly collapsed last month. The move marks Tesla’s first major foray into the epicenter of the U.S. energy economy.
Texas Observer: ERCOT Is Refusing to Release Records On How it Prepared for the Winter Storm
March 9 — The nonprofit corporation is asking Ken Paxton’s office for permission to ignore requests seeking information on the costliest winter storm in the state’s history.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram Denton spent more than $200M on electricity during winter storm. Now it’s suing ERCOT
March 9 — Denton is fighting a court battle against ERCOT, alleging that it is unconstitutional to use public funds to pay utility costs when energy providers defaulted on making their payments.
Austin American-Statesman: Austin Energy estimates it earned $54 million during Texas freeze
March 10 — Austin Energy estimates it earned $54 million in net revenue from last month’s Texas freeze, but the city-owned utility raised doubts about actually collecting that amount because other electricity providers in the state were decimated financially and might not be able to pay their bills.
KTRK TV: Gov. Abbott names ERCOT $16 billion billing error correction as legislative emergency item
March 10 — Gov. Greg Abbott has added the proposal to correct $16 billion in power pricing overcharges during the week of the February winter storm as an emergency item for the Texas legislature.
Texas Tribune: Texas lawmakers plan slate of bills in response to power outages, but experts skeptical there will be meaningful change
March 8 — Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday also said he wants lawmakers to prioritize correcting any ERCOT-related billing errors, including inaccurately high electricity charges. That came after the Public Utility Commission said it will not fix ERCOT’s $16 billion power billing mistake.
Wall Street Journal: Deregulation Aimed to Lower Home-Power Bills. For Many, It Didn’t.
March 8 — Retail energy companies compete with local utilities to give consumers more choice. But in nearly every state where they operate, retailers have charged more than regulated incumbents, a Wall Street Journal analysis found.
Texas Tribune: Just one Public Utility Commission member remains after another resignation in aftermath of winter storm
March 8 — Shelly Botkin’s departure comes a week after the commission’s chair, DeAnn Walker, also stepped down.
Houston Chronicle: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick calls on ERCOT to reverse $16B error during winter storm
March 8 — Patrick’s request comes after Arthur D ‘Andrea, the newly appointed chairman of the Public Utility Commission, said he opposed changing the electricity pricing, despite the recommendations of the independent market monitor, the Virginia-based firm Potomac Economics.
KHOU 11: Texas lawmakers consider making ERCOT a state agency for better oversight
March 7 — “I think we may see a move to bring ERCOT back in as a state agency or, if it’s still a private company, we’ll have many more controls,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
WFAA: Texas lawmakers considering placing Railroad Commission under Public Utility Commission
March 7 — One legislative idea to address the near-collapse of the Texas power grid is placing the Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry, under the Public Utility Commission. That commission currently regulates the state’s electric, water and telecommunication utilities.