(Adds a comment from the President of Texas PUC)
By Timothy Gardner
WASHINGTON, Sept.23 (Reuters) – U.S. and North American energy regulators on Thursday released mandatory electrical reliability recommendations and standards for utilities that they hope will prevent a repeat of deadly power outages February in Texas during a deep frost.
The freeze left 4.5 million people without power for several days in the state, killing more than 100 people.
“I cannot and will not allow this to become another report that serves no purpose other than picking up dust on the shelf,” said Rich Glick, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), on preliminary recommendations and standards regulators plan to finalize in November.
FERC and the North American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC) have issued recommendations that include revisions to mandatory reliability standards.
The revisions require electric utilities to identify and protect critical cold-weather components, build new units or retrofit existing units to operate in specific conditions based on extreme temperatures and weather data, and develop corrective plans for those experiencing freeze-related outages.
âWe welcome the combined expert opinions of the FERC / NERC report as critical information as we continue our common grid transformation agenda,â said Peter Lake, chairman of the Texas Utilities Commission, which regulates the grid. of State.
FERC does not have jurisdiction over the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the operator of the Texas grid. But Jim Robb, president and CEO of NERC, said his organization had jurisdiction in Texas over reliability issues.
In 2011, FERC looked for ways to protect the Texas grid from power outages after a milder cold snap than the most recent. Its recommendations included winterizing natural gas and other facilities. Texas authorities never implemented these recommendations, leaving the state’s network vulnerable.
Texas regulators have been working on their own to protect the grid from extreme weather conditions.
âThe work the team has done here reflects things that would be in addition to what Texas has been working on and not conflict with,â Robb told reporters. (Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Additional reporting by Scott Disavino; Editing by David Gregorio and Peter Cooney)