The Back MicThe Back Mic: ERCOT Special Session Floated, 27 Lawmakers Oppose Adjournment, List of Blackout’s Offline Generators Released

This week — discussion of ERCOT reform special session, over two-dozen legislators vote against adjourning, ERCOT releases details of generators that were out-of-commission during blackout event.
March 5, 2021
https://thetexan.news/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Texas-Capitol-North-Side-with-COVID-Tent-2-DF-1280x853.jpg
ERCOT Reform May Take Special Session

According to KPRC, state Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) said Thursday that he believes a special session will be needed to accomplish adequate reform to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

Whitmire told The Texan, “With the info received today that the ERCOT won’t pay back the $16 billion it overcharged, it is now more complicated.”

“We’re still in the first inning of a very long ballgame — we haven’t yet gotten into solutions and are still diagnosing the problems,” he concluded.

Whitmire’s colleague, Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) is not so sure. He told The Texan, “Not necessarily as two of the top three bills as assigned by Lt. Gov Patrick are [Senate Bill] 2, ERCOT Reform, and [Senate Bill] 3, Power Grid Stability.”

The Texan Tumbler

“So, that’s quite a statement of the priority placed by the lt. governor in this session. Only the budget, which must pass, has a higher bill number. However, these solutions must pass now or in a special session,” he concluded.

On the House side, Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) who sits on the State Affairs Committee that has jurisdiction over the issue, told The Texan, “State Affairs and the Texas House are going to do everything possible to address the grid situation during the regular session.”

Legislators Who Voted Against Adjournment Resolution

The legislature passed another adjournment resolution this week to reconvene on March 9. To this point, few, if any, members have voted against such measures. But this week, while zero senators voted “no,” 27 House members did. Below is a list of the no votes:

  • Ernest Bailes (R-Shepherd)
  • Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton)
  • Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg)
  • Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park)
  • Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches)
  • John Cyrier (R-Lockhart)
  • Sam Harless (R-Spring)
  • Dan Huberty (R-Houston)
  • Phil King (R-Weatherford)
  • Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio)
  • Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville)
  • Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria)
  • Candy Noble (R-Lucas)
  • Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound)
  • Four Price (R-Amarillo)
  • Ana-Maria Ramos (D-Richardson)
  • John Raney (R-College Station)
  • Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler)
  • Brian Slaton (R-Royse City)
  • John Smithee (R-Amarillo)
  • Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton)
  • Valoree Swanson (R-Spring)
  • Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington)
  • Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands)
  • Cody Vasut (R-Angleton)
  • James White (R-Hillister)

In the journal, Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake) stated that while he was shown voting “Yes” in the floor vote, he intended to vote “No.”

List of Outage Generators Sent to Legislature

Three weeks after the Texas blackouts all but ended, ERCOT provided a full list of the generators across the state that tripped offline during the winter storm.

The list was sent to members of the Texas legislature. The accompanying letter states, “[I]n anticipation of requests for this information from the Legislature and the Public Utility Commission of Texas, ERCOT issued a notice to its market participants on February 22, 2021, requesting that each Resource Entity authorize ERCOT to publicly disclose its generator outage information.”

ERCOT’s list provides for the particular generation unit, its typical max capacity, generation after the outage, and the outage timespan.

It includes over 1,600 separate instances of generators offline throughout the winter event, and many units went offline more than once. ERCOT’s latest total stated that 180 of Texas’ nearly 700 generators tripped offline at some point during the event.

View the list below.

###

Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.

Get “KB's Hot Take”

A free bi-weekly commentary on current events by Konni Burton.

Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.