Power grid reforms: Texas officials announce agenda to fix grid 'once and for all'
AUSTIN, Texas - Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, State Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-District 5) and State Sen. Phil King (R-District 10) announced a series of legislative measures that would improve and expand Texas energy infrastructure at a media briefing on March 9.
The bills introduced at the press conference will address operational flexibility and resource adequacy within Texas' energy infrastructure, including expansions of the power grid, loan programs for energy projects and tax relief measures.
"These legislative proposals set forward the framework that ensures Texans have the reliability, transparency and security on our power grid that they deserve," Sen. Schwertner said in a statement following the conference. "Texans must be assured that we have adequate electricity to power their homes and businesses under any condition and these bills, once signed into law, will do that."
Read Lt. Gov. Patrick's full statement following the conference below:
"Today, the Texas Senate announced a bold agenda to fix the Texas power grid once and for all. Since Winter Storm Uri, I have been abundantly clear that we need to bring new dispatchable (primarily new natural gas plants) generation online as soon as possible to make sure that Texans have reliable power under any circumstance. That is why I named Senate Bills 6 and 7, by Sen. Charles Schwertner, as 2 of my top 10 priorities this session.
"SB 6 will put steel in the ground to serve as the state’s energy insurance policy and provide low-interest loans for existing dispatchable generators, so they can improve the resources we already have. SB 7 addresses market uncertainty and levels the playing field between renewables (windmills and solar) and dispatchable energy by targeting money at the dispatchable assets that we need.
"Our slate of legislation focuses on putting protections in place to ensure that our energy market remains fair for all participants while keeping costs for consumers low. We are going to pass legislation to improve transparency and protect against market abuses, build on the good attributes of the Performance Credit Mechanism (PCM) plan but add a guardrail to ensure manageable rates for Texans, defend the grid from foreign powers and realign our goals to build more dispatchable generation in the coming years.
"Every part of these reforms represents a significant victory for Texas ratepayers. Once these bills become law, our grid will be stronger for our Texas future which is brighter than ever."