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Texas power grid changes cost the state millions in the first five months of 2022

On Monday, the power grid broke a demand record with a peak demand of more than 76,600 megawatts.

TEXAS, USA — Recent Texas power grid changes intended to prevent a crisis like what the state experienced in February 2021 have cost $685 million to $860 million for just the first five months of this year, according to a report from KVUE's media partners at the Austin American-Statesman.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) contributes to this cost estimate through its increased acquirement of reserve power within the state's electric grid, which ERCOT operates. ERCOT is also working to make such power available quicker. 

Another factor in the cost estimate is the effects of policy changes that push for a quicker online connection among more generators and an initial increase in wholesale electricity costs, according to the Statesman.

The Statesman reports that Carrie Bivens, ERCOT's independent market monitor, estimated the million-dollar prices by valuing increased reserve purchases from Jan. 1 to May 31 at $210 million to $385 million. She valued "the impact of the policy-induced changes to wholesale prices at about $475 million over that time."

To keep an increased amount of reserves prepared through the end of May – and taking into consideration costs from the latter half of 2021 – Bivens estimated a price of at least roughly $425 million, according to the Statesman.

The Statesman reports that in a meeting Tuesday with ERCOT board members, Peter Lake, chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas that oversees ERCOT, said Texans are benefitting from the greater reliability stemming from improved management of the power grid.

This all comes after the power grid broke a demand record Monday with a peak demand of more than 76,600 megawatts.

Read the Statesman's full report.

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